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Kevin Stefanski named NFL Coach of the Year by Sporting News and PFWA

Cleveland’s 1st-year head coach led the team to its best results in a generation

Kevin Stefanski on Thursday was named the NFL's Coach of the Year by two of the league's most veteran media organizations.

Sporting News and Pro Football Writers of America gave Stefanski their top honor after an unforgettable season in which the Browns made the playoffs for the first time in 18 years and notched their best record since 1994.

Stefanski is the first Browns head coach to earn the PFWA's honor since Marty Schottenheimer won AFC Coach of the Year in 1986. For Sporting News, it's the first time since Paul Brown won it in 1953.

Sporting News' award was voted on by the league's coaches. PFWA's was by its organization's members.

Stefanski, who joined the Browns after a long stint in various positions with the Minnesota Vikings, notched the most wins by a first-year Browns head coach since Brown had 12 in the team's inaugural season in 1946. His winning percentage (.688) was the best since Blanton Collier (.714) in 1963 and the third-best overall in franchise history.

Stefanski's 11 wins were the most by any first-year head coach in 2020 and marked just the 11th time since 1970 a first-year coach has won 11 or more games. The Browns were the only team to make the playoffs this season with a first-year head coach.

Stefanski was also the play-caller for a Browns offense that posted some of its best numbers in generations. Cleveland's 408 points were its second-most in franchise history, as the Browns finished third in the league in rushing with an average of 148.4 yards per game (best since 1978) and 12th in quarterback rating (96.6). Under Stefanski's tutelage, third-year QB Baker Mayfield saw his quarterback rating jump from 78.8 in 2019 to 95.9 in 2020 while increasing his touchdown passes (22 to 26) and drastically decreasing his interceptions (21 to 8).

"Looking back on the season, as we all do when the finality of this thing and it is over, I think we definitely achieved a lot," Stefanski said Monday. "We did some things we set out to do, but ultimately, we came up short and there is a very real sense of disappointment there among our players and coaches right now. We can definitely look back and see some things that we accomplished and be proud of that."

Check out the best photos from the Browns game against the Kansas City Chiefs yesterday by the Browns photo team