BEREA, Ohio (WJW) — A league source has confirmed to NBC4’s sister station Fox 8’s John Telich that the Cleveland Browns have hired Minnesota Vikings’ Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach.
Stefanski was the runner-up in last year’s head coaching search.
He would become the 18th head coach in franchise history and the 12th since the team returned to the NFL in 1999.
According to the Associated Press, both sides have yet to finalize the agreement, but an announcement is expected Monday.
Stefanski, 37, has never been a head coach. He interviewed twice for the job last year and was allegedly the preferred choice of chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta before the Browns gave the gig to Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens was fired after going 6-10 in his first season, which started with high expectations and later highlighted the rookie head coach’s poor play call and clock management.
During 14 seasons with the Vikings, he’s survived regime changes and served under three different head coaches. While working his way up through the organization, he spent time as tight ends coach, running backs coach and quarterbacks coach. When Minnesota fired offensive coordinator John DeFilippo in 2018, Stefanski got a promotion that was later made permanent.
In his first full season as Vikings offensive coordinator, the team had the eighth-ranked offense in the NFL. Minnesota finished with a 10-6 regular-season record and knocked off the Saints in the opening round of the playoffs.
Cleveland Browns owner Jimmy Haslam also met with Ravens coordinator Greg Roman, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, Eagles defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz and Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels in the head coach search. Former Packers head coach Mike McCarthy also interviewed, but he took the job in Dallas.