CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Stefanski is getting a turn at fixing the busted Browns.
The Vikings offensive coordinator was officially hired Monday by Cleveland as the 18th full-time coach in franchise history and 10th since the Browns' 1999 expansion return, which to this point has been a resounding two-decade debacle.
The 37-year-old Stefanski, who spent 14 seasons as an assistant in Minnesota and has never been a head coach at any level, will be introduced at a news conference today at FirstEnergy Stadium.
Parading out a new coach is an annual or semi-annual exercise with the Browns, who haven't been to the NFL playoffs since 2002 and have been in a perpetual search for a coach to help restore their damaged image. Owners Dee and Jimmy Haslam have hired five coaches and the Browns are 33-94-1 since since they agreed to buy the team before the 2012 season.
Stefanski accepted contract terms and agreed to accept the Cleveland job Sunday, a day after the Vikings' season ended with a 27-10 playoff loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
"We were looking for a strong leader of this football team, a very bright coach with a high football IQ, who could establish a strong understanding of what he expected of his players, hold them accountable and confidently navigate the challenges and opportunities that present themselves throughout a season," the Haslams said in a statement. "Kevin exemplifies these qualities and more.
"He has a tremendous ability to relate well and communicate well with his players, has experienced many coaching facets of a team, and understands how to put them in the best position to succeed while also establishing a winning culture."