Belichick, 38, was given a five-year contract to replace Bud Carson, who was fired Nov. 5 after the Browns lost seven of their first nine games. Former offensive coordinator Jim Shofner finished the season as interim coach, but took his name out of the running.
Cleveland's 3-13 mark was the worst in the franchise's 41-year NFL history, a big turnaround from five straight trips to the playoffs.
Belichick is the son of Steve Belichick, a former fullback with the Detroit Lions and a longtime assistant coach at Navy. The younger Belichick began his NFL coaching career as an assistant with the Baltimore Colts in 1975.
* BEARS: Coach Mike Ditka has agreed to a new three-year contract.
"We worked it out in a matter of minutes," team president Mike McCaskey said of the new deal, worth an average of about $1 million a year, according to a report on WBBM-TV.