Kevin Stefanski
refer to caption
Stefanski with the Cleveland Browns in 2022
Cleveland Browns
Position:Head coach
Personal information
Born: (1982-05-08) May 8, 1982 (age 40)
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school:Saint Joseph's
(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
College:Penn
Undrafted:2005
Career history
As a coach:
  • Penn (2005)
    Assistant director of football operations
  • Minnesota Vikings (20062008)
    Assistant to the head coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (20092013)
    Assistant quarterbacks coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (20142015)
    Tight ends coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (2016)
    Running backs coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (20172018)
    Quarterbacks coach
  • Minnesota Vikings (2018)
    Interim offensive coordinator
  • Minnesota Vikings (2019)
    Offensive coordinator
  • Cleveland Browns (2020–present)
    Head coach
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season:21–15 (.583)
Postseason:1–1 (.500)
Career:22–16 (.579)
Coaching stats at PFR

Kevin Lawrence Stefanski /stəˈfɛnsk/ (born May 8, 1982) is an American football coach who is the head coach for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League (NFL).[1] He began his NFL career as an assistant coach for the Minnesota Vikings from 2006 to 2019 and was the offensive coordinator during his final two seasons.[2] Stefanski left Minnesota to become the Browns' head coach in 2020, where he led the team to their first playoff appearance since 2002. He was named NFL Coach of the Year after the season, becoming the first Browns coach to receive the honor since 1975 and the first following the franchise's 1999 return as an expansion team.

Early life and playing career

Stefanski graduated from St. Joseph's Preparatory School in 2000 and the University of Pennsylvania in 2004. Stefanski played defensive back while at Penn, being named the Quakers Freshman of the Year in 2000. He was part of the only undefeated Penn team of the decade and was twice an All-Ivy League selection.

Coaching career

Minnesota Vikings assistant

Stefanski joined the Minnesota Vikings in 2006 as an assistant to then-head coach Brad Childress.[3] In 2009, he was promoted to assistant quarterbacks' coach, where he would serve until the 2013 season and had coached quarterbacks such as Brett Favre and Christian Ponder. Despite the Vikings' ups and downs during his tenure, Stefanski survived 3 coaching changes (Childress, Leslie Frazier, and Mike Zimmer).

In 2017, after the termination of Scott Turner, Stefanski was promoted to coach the Vikings quarterbacks, where he helped transform the Vikings into the NFL's 10th-highest scoring offense. Quarterback Case Keenum had his best season under Stefanski, throwing 22 touchdown passes and only seven interceptions.[4] He previously worked with the running backs in 2016 and the tight ends in 2014 and 2015.

After the 2017 season, the New York Giants requested to interview and hire Stefanski as their new offensive coordinator, but Vikings denied the request.[5]

After offensive coordinator John DeFilippo was fired following a 21–7 loss to the Seattle Seahawks, Stefanski was named interim offensive coordinator.[6] On January 9, 2019, Stefanski was promoted to full-time offensive coordinator.[7]

Cleveland Browns

On January 13, 2020, Stefanski signed a five-year contract to become the 18th head coach of the Cleveland Browns, two days after the Minnesota Vikings lost in the NFC playoffs.[8] On September 13, 2020, Stefanski lost his head coaching debut to the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 6–38. The loss marked the 16th consecutive week one without a win for the Browns.[9] On September 17, 2020, Stefanski received his first career win as a head coach in the 35–30 win against the Cincinnati Bengals.

On December 6, 2020, Stefanski became the first Browns head coach since Romeo Crennel in 2007 to lead the franchise to a winning season, securing his ninth win with a 41–35 victory over the Tennessee Titans. Stefanski led the Browns to a 11–5 record, finishing third in the AFC North and clinching the Browns' first playoff berth since 2002. It was also the franchise's best record since their 1999 return. However, Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19 on the Tuesday before the game,[10] preventing him from coaching the wild card game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.[11] The Browns went on to defeat the Steelers 48–37, which was their first playoff win since 1994, as well as their first since their 1999 re-activation.[12] He returned to the team on January 14.[11] The Browns lost the following week to the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional Round, 22–17. For his work during the 2020 season, Stefanski was named as the Associated Press NFL Coach of the Year.[13] He was the first Browns coach to receive the honor since Forrest Gregg in 1975, in addition to being the first after Cleveland's return in 1999.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
2020 CLE 11 5 0 .688 3rd in AFC North 1 1 .500 Lost to Kansas City Chiefs in AFC Divisional Game
2021 CLE 8 9 0 .471 3rd in AFC North
Career 21 15 0 .583 1 1 .500

Personal life

Stefanski and his wife Michelle have three children together. He is the son of NBA executive Ed Stefanski.

References

  1. ^ "Kevin Stefanski named Browns head coach". www.clevelandbrowns.com. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  2. ^ "Vikings Name Kevin Stefanski Offensive Coordinator". www.vikings.com. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  3. ^ Grlbble, Andrew. "5 things to know about Kevin Stefanski". clevelandbrowns.com. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  4. ^ "Case Keenum: Career Stats at NFL.com". www.nfl.com. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  5. ^ Raanan, Jordan (February 11, 2018). "Vikings nix Giants' request to interview, hire Kevin Stefanski for OC, source says". ESPN. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  6. ^ Patra, Kevin (December 11, 2018). "Vikings fire offensive coordinator John DeFilippo". NFL.com. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  7. ^ Broome, Anthony (January 9, 2019). "Vikings announce Kevin Stefanski as offensive coordinator". Minnesota Vikings. Retrieved January 16, 2020.
  8. ^ Gribble, Andrew (January 13, 2020). "Kevin Stefanski named Browns head coach". www.clevelandbrowns.com. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
  9. ^ Cabot, Mary Kay. "Browns get blown out by Ravens, 38-6, in Kevin Stefanski's head coaching debut". Cleveland.com.
  10. ^ "Kevin Stefanski tests positive for COVID-19; Mike Priefer to serve as acting Head Coach". ClevelandBrowns.com. January 5, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  11. ^ a b Withers, Tom (January 14, 2021). "Stefanski out of basement, back with Browns after COVID-19". APNews.com. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
  12. ^ "'Kansas City Here We Come': Fans, celebrities react to Cleveland Browns' playoff win over Pittsburgh Steelers". wkyc.com. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  13. ^ Baca, Michael. "Browns' Kevin Stefanski wins AP Coach of the Year". NFL.com. Retrieved February 7, 2021.