CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from Jan. 17, 2021.
The Cleveland Browns' 2020 season may be over, but the hardware is beginning to roll in. On Thursday, the Professional Football Writers of America announced that it has voted Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski as its 2020 Coach of the Year.
In what marked his first season as Cleveland's head coach, Stefanski led the Browns to an 11-5 regular-season record -- the franchise's best since the 1994 season. In doing so, Cleveland ended the NFL's longest active postseason drought (17 years) and went on to win its first playoff game since the 1994 campaign when it beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 48-37 in the AFC wild card round.
In addition to the PFWA award, Stefanski was also named the Sporting News' Coach of the Year -- an honor that's voted on by the league's coaches. Stefanski is the first Browns coach to be named the PFWA Coach of the Year since Marty Schottenheimer was voted the AFC Coach of the Year in 1986 and the first Cleveland coach to earn the Sporting News' honor since Paul Brown in 1953.
While Stefanski was unable to coach the Browns in their wild card round victory over the Steelers after testing positive for the coronavirus (COVID-19), he did return to coach the team during Sunday's season-ending 22-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in the divisional round. Despite the disappointing defeat, the future appears bright in Cleveland, thanks in large part to a young and talented roster and the presence of Stefanski as the team's head coach.