CLEVELAND — Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski had quite the season as a first-year head coach, leading his team to the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and the divisional round of the NFL playoffs for the first time in 26 years—and he has earned top honors for it.
Stefanski was named NFL Coach of the Year by both Sporting News and Pro Football writers of America.
The award from Sporting News is voted on by the league’s coaches while the PFWA award is voted on by the organization’s members.
Stefanski is the first Browns head coach to earn PFWA’s award since Marty Schottenheimer won AFC Coach of the Year in 1986.
As for Sporting News’ award, it’s been even longer since a Browns head coach won the award. The last time a Browns head coach won their honors was in 1953 when it was awarded to Paul Brown.
Stefanski ended the regular season 11-5, posting the best record among new head coaches in 2020 and marking the most wins by a first-year Browns head coach since Brown in 1946.
Under Stefanski’s offense, the Browns run game thrived with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt ending the regular season as the only pair of teammates in the league with at least 840 rushing yards, while Baker Mayfield found himself again and joined Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck as the only players in NFL history to record at least 3,500 passing yards with at least 20 touchdown passes in each of their first three seasons.
“I think we established our identity this season on offense, defense and special teams. We accomplished some of our goals – ultimately, not all of our goals – but I definitely can look back and tell you that I am proud of the effort of our players, our coaches and our staff,” Stefanski said on Monday.
Stefanski will wait and see if he earned Coach of the Year honors from the Associated Press, which will be announced during NFL Honors on Feb. 6, the night before the Super Bowl.