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Monday, January 6
Updated: March 26, 3:56 PM ET
 
Fazio retires; Browns dismiss Hamilton

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

Longtime league assistant and former University of Pittsburgh head coach Foge Fazio, who served the past two seasons as defensive coordinator of the Cleveland Browns, announced his retirement on Tuesday.

In a related matter that will further scramble the Cleveland staff, defensive line coach Ray Hamilton has been dismissed after two seasons.

Fazio, 63, has been one of the league's most innovative and hard-working coordinators, and one of its most popular assistants. His emotional style and animated sideline demeanor made him a darling of the television cameras.

"Maybe if I could find a job where I only had to work a couple days a week, I'd stick around," said Fazio, laughing, when reached at his home Monday night. "But, seriously, it's time. There are a lot of things I still want to do. I've had a pretty good run, you know?"

In recent weeks, there have been persistent rumors around the league that Fazio could be in jeopardy, as Browns head coach Butch Davis was less than happy with the performance of the defense. As reported over the weekend by ESPN and ESPN.com, former Dallas Cowboys head coach Dave Campo is a strong candidate to replace Fazio as coordinator.

"Foge has dedicated 42 years to the coaching profession, and the game of football has benefited from his commitment at every level,'' Davis said Tuesday.

Campo is to interview this week for the defensive coordinator position with the Seattle Seahawks. He and Davis worked together at the University of Miami and also on the Cowboys staff.

Over the past month or so, sources said, Davis had taken over more of the defensive preparation. He and Fazio didn't always agree on game planning or deployment of some schemes.

The league resume compiled by Fazio includes stints at Atlanta (1988-89), the New York Jets (1990-94), Minnesota (1995-99) and Washington (2000), in addition to his two years with the Browns.

Fazio was head coach at the University of Pittsburgh four seasons (1982-85) and led the Panthers to a pair of bowl appearances. Among his various jobs at the college level, he served as defensive coordinator at Notre Dame under Lou Holtz (1986-87).

Hamilton, 42, was a standout defensive lineman for the New England Pats for nine seasons, 1973-81. He then joined the Cleveland staff in 2001 after coaching stints at New England (1985-89 and 1997-99), Tampa Bay (1991), the Los Angeles Raiders (1993-94), and New York Jets (1995-96 and 2000).

Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.






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