Cowher, Johnson elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

NEW YORK (AP) — Former Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher and former Dallas Cowboys and Miami Dolphins head coach Jimmy Johnson have been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Cowher, an analyst for CBS, was surprised by the announcement made live on air in studio before the Tennessee Titans-Baltimore Ravens AFC divisional round playoff game Saturday night.

Johnson, an analyst for FOX, found out on live television, too. He heard the news during the halftime show of the Seattle Seahawks-Green Bay Packers NFC game on Sunday.

Cowher was the coach of the Steelers for 15 seasons from 1992 to 2006, and led them to 10 playoff appearances including two Super Bowls and winning one – beating Seattle in 2006. His Pittsburgh teams won nine division titles.

Cowher had an overall career record of 161-99-1 with a .619 winning percentage.

Johnson won two Super Bowl titles with the Cowboys in the 90s, and the roster he built won another under Barry Switzer. 

A successful college coach at Oklahoma State and Miami, where he won a national championship in 1987, Johnson was hired in 1989 by new Cowboys owner Jerry Jones. His initial team went 1-15, but Johnson rebuilt the roster – including trading star running back Herschel Walker to Minnesota for a slew of draft picks and players who were converted into draft choices. That deal is considered among the most one-sided in sports history, and it netted, among others, the draft pick that brought Emmitt Smith to Dallas.

A special panel met at the Hall in Canton, Ohio, on Wednesday to elect the centennial slate for this year's class of inductees, marking the first time any members were elected during a selection meeting held at the Hall in Canton.

S.C. native Gainey has early lead in Bahamas

Bishopville's Tommy "Two Gloves" Gainey shot an opening-round 66 Sunday and has the lead at the Korn Ferry Tour's season-opening The Bahamas Great Exuma Classic.

Gainey made seven birdies and just one bogey for a one-shot lead over Joshua Creel and Dylan Wu. The first round was suspended due to darkness.

Roberto Diaz is five shots back after a 1-under 71, which he closed with birdies on his final two holes. Matt Atkins was 2 over through 15 holes when play was halted.

Browns hiring Vikings OC Stefanski to be head coach

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cleveland Browns are hiring Vikings offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski as their new coach, a person familiar with the decision told the Associated Press.

Stefanski agreed to accept the position Sunday, a day after Minnesota was beaten by San Francisco in the NFC playoffs, according to the person who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team has not announced the decision.

The 37-year-old Stefanski nearly became Cleveland's coach a year ago but finished as a runner-up when the Browns selected Freddie Kitchens, who was fired after just one season. Stefanski spent the past season sprucing up his resume running Minnesota's offense, and the Browns didn't pass up a second chance to nab him.

Stefanski is Cleveland's 10th full-time coach since the franchise's expansion rebirth in 1999, and the sixth coach hired by Browns owner Jimmy Haslam since he bought the team in 2012.

The decision means that no minority candidates were hired by NFL teams this offseason. Dallas, Carolina, Washington and the Dallas Cowboys also filled vacancies.

Stefanski will inherit a roster that includes plenty of offensive talent with quarterback Baker Mayfield, wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, and running back Nick Chubb. But the Browns didn't live up to their billing under Kitchens, who was unable to instill discipline and couldn't tamper drama around the club.

Stefanski's life has been immersed in sports. His father, Ed, is a longtime NBA executive who currently works as an adviser for the Detroit Pistons.

The Browns chose Setanski after a thorough two-week search during which they interviewed eight known candidates. Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh were believed to be the other finalists.