The Browns plan to hire Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach, the team announced Monday. The agreement is for five seasons.
"We are thrilled to welcome Kevin as the next head coach of the Cleveland Browns,” Dee and Jimmy Haslam said. “We were looking for a strong leader of this football team, a very bright coach with a high football IQ, who could establish a strong understanding of what he expected of his players, hold them accountable and confidently navigate the challenges and opportunities that present themselves throughout a season.
The news was first reported on Sunday morning.
Stefanski was one of seven candidates interviewed for the Browns' head-coaching vacancy. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Ravens offensive coordinator Greg Roman also interviewed for the position.
Stefanski previously served as the Vikings' offensive coordinator in 2018 and 2019. Minnesota finished No. 8 in scoring offense in 2019 before losing to the 49ers in the NFC divisional round.
Cleveland fired Freddie Kitchens on Dec. 29 after just one season leading the franchise. Stefanski will be the Browns' eighth head coach since 2010, and their third in the last three seasons. Hue Jackson is the last Browns head coach to retain his job for multiple seasons, though he was fired midway through last year after going 3-36-1 dating back to Week 1 in 2016.
Stefanski will look to lead the Browns back to the playoffs in 2020 for the first time since 2002. Cleveland finished third in the AFC North in 2019 at 6–10. Quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled for much of the season, throwing 22 touchdowns and 21 interceptions while completing just 59.4% of his passes.
“It's very exciting obviously for me and my family,” Stefanski said. “We're really looking forward to moving out here and getting situated in Cleveland and the adventure of it all.