Calvin Hill, a former NFL running back and now a consultant with the Cleveland Browns, has apparently turned down an offer to become head coach of the Washington Federals.
Although Hill was unavailable for comment yesterday, his attorney, Clifford Alexander, issued the following statement without elaboration: "Calvin Hill plans to remain with the Cleveland Browns. He was flattered to be considered by the Federals."
The Cleveland Plain Dealer yesterday quoted a source close to the Browns' front office as saying, "I know in fact he was offered the job. One, he wasn't interested in that job, and second, he's not interested in coaching. Finally, he wasn't comfortable being offered somebody's job when that person still had the job."
The Federals at 1-9 have the worst record in the USFL. Sources have told The Washington Post this week that club owner Berl Bernhard was considering replacing the present coach, Ray Jauch, who has a guaranteed contract for three years for approximately $575,000.
Bernhard and team President Jim Gould were in Florida and could not be reached for comment yesterday.
General Manager Dick Myers insisted, "We are not shopping for a coach. I did not contact Calvin about coaching and I also doubt Berl contacted him. Calvin is a close friend of mine. We talk often. Perhaps someone saw us together talking and decided to come up with a story.
"Our last conversation, Calvin wasn't sure whether he was even interested in coaching or not. He's not really sure what he wants to settle into. We've done a lot of talking about his career. But that story is absolutely untrue."
Jauch said, "I'm tired of commenting on those stupid stories. I know nothing about it and I could care less. This is utterly ridiculous."
Hill, 35, was an all-pro for Dallas from 1969-1974 after the Cowboys drafted him in the first round from Yale. Hill later played for Hawaii in the World Football League, the Redskins, then finished his career two years ago with Cleveland. He is now in charge of the Browns' chemical abuse and career counseling program.
There has been only one black head coach in pro football: Willie Wood, who coached Philadelphia of the WFL and Toronto of the CFL.