Browns To Hire Vikings Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski As New Head Coach
Less than 24 hours after the Minnesota Vikings' season ended, it was announced that the team's offensive coordinator would be leaving for a new job. NFL.com reported Sunday that the Cleveland Browns are making Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski their new head coach. The move fills the last head coaching vacancy left in the league after the regular season.
Stefanski was in the running for the head coaching role with the Browns last season as well, but was beaten out by Freddie Kitchens. During Kitchens's only year with the team, the Browns went 6-10 in a year that had high expectations with a roster that many prognosticators had slotted as a playoff lock at the beginning of the season.
The hiring of Stefanski to Cleveland gives the 37 year-old his first NFL job away from the Vikings. He joined the team in 2006 as an assistant to the head coach, and served in a number of roles with the team's offense before being named interim offensive coordinator in the 2018 season after the firing of John DeFilippo before the end of his first year with the team. Stefanski was officially named the team's offensive coordinator in the offseason, and served in that capacity through 2019.
Speculation around Stefanski being hired away by one of the handful of teams looking for a new head coach fired up through the late parts of the 2019 season. While some linked him to a few different teams, the most likely landing spot appeared to be Cleveland after just missing out on the job last year.
Stefanski's departure now leaves the Vikings looking for a new offensive coordinator for the 2020 campaign. This will be the fourth offensive coordinator for the Vikings in the last four years, with Pat Shurmur departing at the end of the 2017 campaign, John DeFilippo being fired mid-season in 2018, and now Stefanski being hired away.