Browns pick co-ordinator Kitchens as next coach
In this Nov. 4, 2018, file photo, Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens talks to quarterback Baker Mayfield during an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, in Cleveland. A person familiar with the decision says the Cleveland Browns are hiring Freddie Kitchens as their coach. (AP Photo/David Richard, File)
The Associated Press
Published Wednesday, January 9, 2019 12:33PM EST
CLEVELAND -- 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 co-ordinator, is finalizing his contract and will be named Cleveland's ninth coach since 1999, said the person who spoke Wednesday to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the team is not commenting on the imminent hire.
ESPN was first to announce the decision.
The 44-year-old Kitchens has no previous head coaching experience, but his work with Cleveland's offence -- and 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 offence.
It's a meteoric rise for Kitchens, who began the season as the team's running backs coach.