A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their coach.
Kitchens, who had a dazzling eight-week run as the team’s interim offensive coordinator, is finalizing his contract, said the person who spoke Wednesday to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the imminent hire.
He will be Cleveland’s ninth coach since 1999.
ESPN was first to announce the decision.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 9, 2019
The 44-year-old Kitchens has no previous head coaching experience.
However, his work with Cleveland’s offense — and rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield — in the season’s second half vaulted him ahead of the other six candidates interviewed by the Browns.
Mayfield, the No. 1 overall pick in last year’s draft, threw 19 of his NFL rookie record 27 touchdown passes while Kitchens oversaw the offense.
The hire had mixed reviews.
The next 15 years are going to be unbelievable pic.twitter.com/LdE0mIi9Z1
— Browns Believer (@Browns_QB) January 9, 2019
I’m okay with this. But just okay. Like the stability but really wish they would invest in an experienced HC (so many good ones on the market right now)
— jkkmpk2 (@jkkmpk2) January 9, 2019
There are Browns fans on here actually excited about this. That’s why you’re the Browns. Didn’t Bruce Arians wants this job a few weeks ago? Wasn’t MCarthey coming? There’s a reason they passed in the end. And you’re happy with this guy? Good luck with that
— Jason goss (@Jgoss73) January 9, 2019
It’s a meteoric rise for Kitchens, who began the season as the team’s running backs coach.
The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.
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