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Penn football alumnus and Cleveland Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski at training camp on Aug. 20 (Photo by Erik Drost | CC BY 2.0).

If winning Associated Press coach of the year once puts you into elite company, then winning it twice cements you in history alongside legends of the game.

At last week's NFL Honors, Penn football alumnus and 2004 College graduate Kevin Stefanski was awarded this honor for the second time in his career. This makes him the 13th coach in NFL history to win the award multiple times, putting him alongside the likes of Bill Belichick and Don Shula. Being only his fourth season as a head coach, Stefanski now has a 50% coach of the year rate. 

A two-time All-Ivy selection during his days as a Quaker, Stefanski coached the Cleveland Browns to a 11-6 record despite a turbulent season at the quarterback position. After the Browns lost their $230 million dollar quarterback Deshaun Watson, it was next man up, and then next man up again. Going into the playoffs as the fifth seed in the AFC, Stefanski’s Browns were being led by 39-year-old Joe Flacco. Flacco, before getting the call from the Browns, was not active on any NFL practice squad. Flacco showed out in the regular season thanks to Stefanski’s offensive scheme and coaching. On top of the issues at QB, the Browns were also missing their bellcow running back, Nick Chubb, for the majority of the season.

Despite coaching an injury-plagued squad, Stefanski was able to will his team to a playoff berth against the Houston Texans. In this game, Stefanski lost to COTY runner-up DeMeco Ryans, a fact many Texans supporters have used in their argument for Ryans’ COTY candidacy. However, all AP awards only apply to the regular season.

Notably, two of Stefanski’s players also came away with gold at the NFL honors. Myles Garrett was awarded defensive player of the year and Joe Flacco was named comeback player of the year. Both of these awards speak volumes about Stefanski’s coaching and the culture he has built in Cleveland in the short amount of time he has been there.