Pat McManamon | ESPN.com
Bob Stoops is not a candidate to coach the Cleveland Browns.
A league source close to the Browns confirmed that Stoops has never been on Cleveland’s radar and that the team will not interview the longtime Oklahoma coach.
The Browns have interviewed three NFL assistants and have asked permission to interview one college coach as they search for a replacement for Rob Chudzinski.
Stoops, a Youngstown, Ohio, native, was connected to the Browns’ coaching vacancy following Oklahoma’s stunning upset of Alabama in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Thursday.
Stoops did little to quell the rumors Friday, saying “you never know” when asked by Oklahoma writers about his Cleveland connection.
Stoops has a 160-39 record at Oklahoma and became the only coach to win all four BCS bowls — Sugar, Orange, Rose and Fiesta — last week when the Sooners beat the third-ranked Crimson Tide 45-31.
Stoops received a contract extension in July through the 2020 season. He signed a seven-year, $34.5 million deal in 2011.
The Browns are in coaching search mode again after firing Chudzinski last week after one season. Owner Jimmy Haslam and CEO Joe Banner vowed to get their second coaching search in just more than a year “right” this time.
The Browns have lost at least 10 games in each of the past six seasons and are looking for their seventh full-time coach since 1999.
To date, the Browns have interviewed New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Seattle Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.
Denver offensive coordinator Adam Gase has declined interviews until the Denver Broncos are out of the playoffs.
The Browns also have requested permission to interview Vanderbilt coach James Franklin. That interview is expected this week.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.
- Covered Browns, Cleveland sports since 1998
- Previously worked at Fox Sports Ohio, AOL Fanhouse, Akron Beacon Journal/Ohio.com
- Cleveland native, proud father of two daughters