The Browns have found their man to be their permanent coach, and he’s a familiar face.
Offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens will move up as Cleveland’s head coach, according to ESPN, which cited unidentified sources.
An announcement is expected later Wednesday, per the report.
Kitchens was promoted to offensive coordinator midway through the season after coach Hue Jackson and OC Todd Haley were fired.
In the eight games as offensive coordinator, he was responsible for further developing quarterback Baker Mayfield. Under Kitchens, Mayfield went 5-3, completing 68.4 percent of his passes with 19 touchdowns, eight interceptions and five sacks. It’s a stark difference from Mayfield’s games under Haley, in which he was 1-4 as a starter and completed 58.3 percent with eight touchdowns, six interceptions and 20 sacks.
Because of the Browns’ improved performance in the second half of the season, they finished 7-8-1, their best record since 2007.
Kitchens was one of several candidates to interview for the job, including Vikings interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, Saints assistant head coach/tight ends coach Dan Campbell and former Colts and Lions coach Jim Caldwell. Kitchens’ hiring makes him the ninth full-time coach with the Browns since 1999 and 11th including interim coaches.
Interim head coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams was relieved of his duties, according to ESPN.