Mike Brown, the owner of the Cleveland Browns, said Thursday he will step down from his post in January and that he expects to be inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
Brown’s announcement came as he was speaking at the NFL owners meeting.
In an interview with reporters on Thursday, Brown also said he will remain the head coach of the Browns.
“I will be a part of the Hall of Famer,” Brown said.
“You don’t retire in the middle of a playoff game and just do what you’re doing.
I’m not going to do that.”
Brown, a three-time Super Bowl champion coach who is also the president of the NFL Players Association, is one of five coaches inducted to the NFL’s coaches’ hall of fame.
He is the third coach to get the honor, joining former Bears coach John Fox in 1997 and Rams coach Jeff Fisher in 2008.
He retired from coaching in January after nine seasons in the NFL, including 11 seasons as the Browns’ head coach.
Brown said he and the Browns, which he owns through a group called the Cleveland Sports & Entertainment Group, have discussed a deal for a potential buyout of the team.
“We’ve been in touch with the owner, with the ownership group,” Brown told reporters.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to do it.”
In his announcement, Brown said Brown’s son, Austin Brown, will remain as a player for the Browns in 2017.
“My wife and I want to have our family and the family of my wife, Austin, together.
That’s all that matters to me, that’s all we’re interested in, and we want Austin to be the best man for him and for his family,” Brown added.
The Browns are 3-4 with Brown on the sideline.
“He is a tremendous role model for us and our family, as he’s one of the greatest coaches in the history of the game,” Browns owner Jimmy Haslam said in a statement.
“Coach Brown was an outstanding player and leader, a loyal friend and mentor.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Coach Brown and his family at this time.”
He was born in New Orleans in 1960 and graduated from the University of Missouri in 1966.
The NFL said Thursday that Brown’s decision to retire will come with a full severance package, with his shares of the company valued at $20 million, the largest in league history.
The NBA announced Thursday that former Houston Rockets coach Patrick Ewing will take over as coach of Boston Celtics, after being promoted to interim coach following a disastrous season.
The move was announced as Ewing and Brown spoke at a news conference in New York.
Brown, who will become the youngest coach to win the league’s Coach of the Year award, said he is looking forward to the new challenge of leading a team that has become an instant favorite to win another title.
“This is a great opportunity,” Brown, 71, told reporters after the news conference.
“And I’m very excited about it.”
Haslam, in his statement, said the Browns will be in the mix for the 2018 Super Bowl and will have a chance to win a championship in the new season.
“It is time for Coach Brown to continue his path of success, with a new chapter ahead,” Haslam added.
“As we enter a new season, we must continue to embrace our young players and work hard on building our team for the future.”
Brown has been a major face of the franchise, appearing on television more than 500 times during his 10 seasons.
During his tenure as head coach from 1997 to 2008, Brown guided the Browns to two Super Bowl appearances and two trips to the conference championship game.
The team has also made the playoffs four consecutive seasons and was awarded the Super Bowl XLVI championship.
Browns general manager Ray Farmer and Brown are expected to continue their partnership, as they have done since 2011.
Brown will take his job as an executive vice president with the Browns on a two-year contract.