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Kevin Stefanski earns a pair of Coach of the Year honors

Browns first-year head coach picks up postseason awards from PFWA and The Sporting News.

Cincinnati Bengals v Cleveland Browns Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski accomplished a lot in his first season on the job.

In 2020, Stefanski helped lead the Browns to:

  • Their first 11-win season since 1994
  • Their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season
  • Their first playoff win since the 1994 season
  • Their first road playoff win since 1969

Stefanski achieved all that despite being a first-time head coach; not having a traditional offseason program; not having any preseason games; and dealing with the impact of COVID-19 on the roster, the coaching staff and himself.

That work was recognized on Thursday when Stefanski was named the Coach of the Year by both the Pro Football Writers of America and The Sporting News.

Stefanski is the first Browns head coach to earn Coach of the Year honors from the PWFA, and just the second head coach to be honored by the group in any category. Previously, Marty Schottenheimer was named AFC Coach of the Year in 1986.

He is the first Cleveland head coach to earn the honor from The Sporting News since Paul Brown won it in 1953.

According to clevelandbrowns.com, the 11 wins this season were the most by a first-year Browns head coach since Paul Brown had 12 in 1946. Stefanski’s winning percentage of .688 was the best since Blanton Collier’s .714 in 1963, and it was the third-best overall in team history.

In addition, the Browns were just the 11th team to win at least 11 games with a first-year head coach since 1970 and the only team to make the playoffs this season with a first-time head coach.

With Stefanski calling the offense, the Browns scored 408 points, which second to only the 1964 title team in franchise history since joining the NFL in 1950; rushed for an average of 148.4 yards per game, the best number since 1978 and third-best in the league; and finished 12th in the league in quarterback rating at 95.9.