Browns' Kevin Stefanski Wins 2020 NFL Coach of the Year Award

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 7, 2021

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski comes out onto the field for the first half of an NFL football game against the New York Jets Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski was named the 2020 Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year on Saturday.

Stefanski beat out a number of quality candidates to win the award, including Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills, Matt LaFleur of the Green Bay Packers and Brian Flores of the Miami Dolphins.

The 38-year-old Stefanski is just the second Browns head coach ever to win the award, joining Forrest Gregg, who was honored in 1976.

Cleveland had the NFL's longest playoff drought when Stefanski arrived during the offseason, but he put an end to it in spectacular fashion.

With Stefanski at the helm, the Browns went 11-5, marking their best record since going 11-5 in 1994. Cleveland also qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002 as well.

Although it didn't figure into the Coach of the Year voting, Stefanski also helped the Browns slay another major demon in the postseason, as they beat the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on the road in the AFC Wild Card Round.

In his second NFL season in 2019, quarterback Baker Mayfield took a step back compared to what he did as a rookie. Stefanski got him back on track in 2020, however, as he completed 62.8 percent of his passes for 3,563 yards, 26 touchdowns and eight interceptions.

Stefanski also presided over a dominant running game, as Cleveland ranked third in the NFL in rushing yards per game with 148.4 on the strength of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

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Now that the Browns have finally made it back to the postseason, they could have even bigger and better things ahead with Stefanski running the show.