The Cleveland Browns made their return to the great city of Cleveland in 1999. Since then the Browns have named 12 men to be their active head coaches in only 21 years. With such little stability in the franchise at such an important position, it attests to why the Browns have had such a poor run since returning.
However, Cleveland Browns fans now know what it is like and how big of a difference it can make to have someone truly great at the head coaching position.
In their first season back in 1999-2000, the Browns head coach at the time was Chris Palmer. Palmer only lasted two years with the Browns and finished with a combined record of 5-27-0 which gave him a win percentage of 15.6 percent.
After Palmer, the Cleveland Browns hired Butch Davis who coached from 2001-2004. Davis had the third-highest winning percentage of any Browns coach since 1999 with 40.7 percent. He totaled a final record of 24-35. During his time as head coach, Davis managed to bring the Browns to their first playoff appearance since their return to Cleveland.
Davis was fired halfway through his final season with the team and Terry Robiskie filled in as an interim head coach. Robiskie had a record of 1-4 which netted him a win percentage of 20 percent.
He was not brought back to coach the following season and the Browns went with Romeo Crennel. Crennel lasted from 2005-2008 and had an overall record of 24-40 which translates to a winning percentage of 37.5 percent.
Eric Mangini took the head coaching spot for the Browns for the next two seasons. He finished in Cleveland with a record of 10-22 and a winning percentage of 31.3 percent.
Pat Shurmur was the next to take a two-year stint as the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. He completed his tenure in Cleveland with a record of 9-23 and a winning percentage of 28.1 percent.
Rob Chudzinski took the reigns of the Brown for a single season. He had a record of 4-12 with a winning percentage of 25 percent.
After Chudzinski, the Browns hired Mike Pettine who stayed with the team for two seasons. He had a record of 10-22 and a winning percentage of 31.3 percent.
That brought the Browns into the Hue Jackson era which for many fans signified rock bottom. With Jackson, the Browns went on a run over two seasons of 1-31. During his entire tenure, Jackson had a record of 3-36-1 for a winning percentage of 8.8 percent which is the worst in Browns history since 1977.
Greg Williams filled in as head coach after Jackson was fired during the 2018 season. He finished with a record of 5-3 and a winning percentage of 62.5 percent. This is the second-best from a Browns head coach since their return in 1999.
The Browns decided not to retain Williams as the head coach and instead went with Freddie Kitchens. Kitchens finished his single season with the Browns with a 6-10 record and a winning percentage of 37.5 percent.
Which takes us to the 2020 season where current coach Kevin Stefanski finished the year with a record of 11-5 and took the Browns to their first playoff appearance in decades. Stefanski was awarded Coach of the Year honors and appears to be the man for the job moving forward with the Browns.
He has implemented a run-heavy style of offense that opens up the play-action passes that quarterback Baker Mayfield thrives in.
It is clear that Stefanski is the best head coach the Browns have had since they returned to Cleveland in 1999 and plans on building on the success he had last year in the 2021 season.