Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski, who has spent all 14 of his professional coaching seasons in Minnesota, has taken over as the Cleveland Browns' 18th head coach. With their head coach in place, Stefanski and his team have now turned their attention to building a championship coaching staff.
Here's the latest on every position on Stefanski's staff has that has already been filled and what you need to know about Cleveland's assistant coaches.
Coaching positions filled
Offensive coordinator - Alex Van Pelt
The Browns have hired Cincinnati Bengals quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt to serve as their offensive coordinator. Van Pelt, 49, has been a quarterbacks coach with the Bengals for the past three seasons. He had previously served in the same role with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers in addition to one season as offensive coordinator of the Buffalo Bills in 2009.
The former University of Pittsburgh quarterback was drafted in the eighth round of the 1993 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers but never played a down for them. He played two seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs before finishing his final ten seasons in Buffalo. Former Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski was hired as head coach early in January. He was initially unsure whether or not he would hire an offensive coordinator.
Defensive coordinator - Joe Woods
The Browns intend to hire San Francisco defensive backs coach/passing game coordinator Joe Woods Jr. as the team's next defensive coordinator, according to sources.
Woods spent eight seasons with Minnesota as a defensive backs coach from 2006-2013. The Pennsylvania native previously served as a defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos on Vance Joseph's staff. Woods and Stefanski have a relationship dating back to their time with the Vikings.
Special teams coordinator - Mike Priefer
Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will remain in his role on Kevin Stefanski's new staff. In the initial coaching staff tracker, CBS Sports mentioned that it was likely Priefer would stay given his prior connections to the new head coach.
A native of Cleveland, Priefer first served as a graduate assistant at Navy in 1994. His career took him to three other collegiate institutions, including Youngstown State, before he received his first opportunity in the NFL. The Jacksonville Jaguars hired him as the assistant special teams coach in 2002. He served in the same capacity with the New York Giants from 2003-2005. In 2006, he was named the special teams coordinator of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has fulfilled that same role with the Denver Broncos, Minnesota Vikings and Chiefs ever since.
Priefer has a game's worth of head coaching experience, as well, as he was named the acting head coach for the Week 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys in 2016 when Mike Zimmer had to undergo emergency eye surgery. The team would lose that game by a score of 17-15 on Thursday Night Football at U.S. Bank Stadium in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Assistant special teams coach - Doug Colman
Colman served in the same role with the Browns a year ago. In their lone season with the Browns, they coached rookie punter Jamie Gillan to NFL honors and enabled rookie kicker Austin Seibert to decrease the number of touchbacks while gaining yardage in the field position battle.
Wide receivers/passing game coordinator - Chad O'Shea
O'Shea spent three seasons on Minnesota's coaching staff from 2006-2008. During that time, he served as an offensive assistant, wide receivers and special teams coach. O'Shea followed that with 10 seasons in New England as the wide receivers coach. When Brian Flores accepted the Miami Dolphins head coaching job, he hired O'Shea to be his offensive coordinator. The union lasted just one season.
Running backs/run game coordinator - Stump Mitchell
Running backs coach/run game coordinator Stump Mitchell has been retained on Stefanski's coaching staff. With Mitchell's help, second year running back Nick Chubb had the second most rushing yards (1,494) across the NFL during the regular season. His coaching career began in 1999 as a running backs coach with the Seattle Seahawks. He was there for nine seasons before joining the Redskins staff as associate head coach/running backs coach.
Offensive line - Bill Callahan
ESPN's Rob Demovsky revealed that offensive line coach James Campen would not be retained by the Browns. Not long thereafter, the Browns hired former Washington Redskins interim head coach Bill Callahan. Campen is a phenomenal coach but his background did not match the scheme that the new coaching staff plans to deploy. Since 2011, he has helped seven players reach the Pro Bowl: Joel Bitonio, Chad Clifton, Scott Wells, Josh Sitton, Jeff Saturday, David Bakhtiari and T.J. Lang.
Callahan has extensive experience coaching the offensive line unit. The 63-year-old has served as head coach of the Oakland Raiders as well as an offensive coordinator and offensive line coach for the Dallas Cowboys in addition to stints with three other teams during his 21 year NFL coaching career.
Tight ends - Drew Petzing
Stefanski served as Vikings quarterbacks coach in 2018. Petzing worked alongside him before being elevated to the role of wide receiver coach in 2019. Minnesota made the decision not to retain the coach but has found a comfortable landing spot on Stefanski's Browns staff. The New York native spent seven seasons with the NFC North franchise. He served as a football operations intern with the Browns in 2013.
Defensive backs/pass game coordinator - Jeff Howard
Howard has been hired as the pass game coordinator/defensive backs coach. He had been a part of the Vikings organization for seven seasons serving in a variety of roles, including assistant defensive backs coach. Stefanski, Woods and Howard were all together for one season in 2013.
Defensive line coach - Chris Kiffin
Kiffin, the younger brother of Ole Miss head coach Lane Kiffin, is being hired to coach the defensive line. For the past two seasons, the 38-year old was a pass rush specialist with the 49ers. He had previously been the defensive coordinator at Florida Atlantic and the defensive line coach at Ole Miss.
His father, Monte Kiffin, is a coaching legend in his own right. The elder Kiffin has 16 years of NFL defensive coordinator experience so he will be a tremendous resource for his son.
Linebackers - Jason Tarver
It was initially reported that Fred Pagac would be Cleveland's next linebackers coach but that did not come to fruition. Instead, they are hiring Tarver, who most recently served as defensive coordinator and linebackers coach at Vanderbilt, according to BeaconJournal.com. He had previously served as a defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders and Stanford.
Offensive assistant - T.C. McCartney
The Browns have hired former Broncos quarterbacks coach T.C. McCartney as an offensive assistant, according to Cleveland.com. He played quarterback at LSU. His father Sal Aunese was a quarterback at Colorado. His grandfather, Bill McCartney, is a Colorado coaching legend.
McCartney is actually in his second stint with Cleveland. He was on Kyle Shanahan's staff back in 2012 and re-joined Shanahan's staff for two seasons in San Francisco before being hired in Denver. After one season, he was let go.
Executive vice president of football operations and general manager - Andrew Berry
The Browns Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry as executive vice president of football operations and general manager. Berry previously served as vice president of player personnel in Cleveland from 2016-18.of
Before joining Cleveland for his first stint, the Harvard graduate spent seven seasons with the Indianapolis Colts rising through the ranks. Berry, 32, becomes the youngest general manager in the NFL. He is also the second active African-American general manager joining Chris Grier of the Miami Dolphins.
Chief of staff for head coach - Callie Brownson
Cleveland has hired Callie Brownson as chief of staff for head coach Kevin Stefanski. Brownson is the first female to serve in this role. Stefanski shared the potential that he shares in Brownson.
"It's very involved in every aspect of a football operation. Callie is uniquely situated where she can go interact with football ops or PR or the locker room or the equipment room. She's really the liaison to the rest of the building for me. I'm going to lean on her heavily and already have," Stefanski said.
"I think she's a go-getter. She's self-motivated. She's going to put all of her energy into this gig. What's exciting for me is ultimately I want to develop young coaches. She's someone that has worked on the offensive side of the ball, worked on special teams, has a great knowledge of the game and I want to let her expand that knowledge and develop her as a head coach."
Super Bowl LIV involved the NFL's first female assistant coach - Katie Stowers.
Vacant coaching positions
Klint Kubiak served as quarterbacks coach of the Vikings in 2019. He was brought on along with his father prior to the season. If his father joins the Browns in some capacity, it is reasonable to think Klint might join him again. The 32 year old had previously served as offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach of the Broncos from 2016-2018.
The Broncos' decision to fire offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello could actually open a door for Cleveland. Scangarello is another disciple of San Francisco and the Shanahan coaching tree. Prior to serving as offensive coordinator, he was a quarterbacks coach for the 49ers.