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Gamecocks add former NFL head coach Freddie Kitchens to staff

CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 23:  Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens looks on...
CLEVELAND, OH - DECEMBER 23: Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator Freddie Kitchens looks on during the first quarter against the Cincinnati Bengals at FirstEnergy Stadium on December 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)(Jason Miller | Getty Images)
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 3:46 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC - University of South Carolina football coach Shane Beamer has added veteran football coach Freddie Kitchens to his 2022 staff as a Senior Football Analyst, it was announced today.

Kitchens comes to Columbia after having worked in the National Football League since 2006, including a stint as the Cleveland Browns’ head coach in 2019. Most recently, he worked for the New York Giants where he served as the tight ends coach in 2020 and as a senior offensive assistant and interim offensive coordinator in 2021 under head coach Joe Judge.

“I worked with Freddie Kitchens previously at Mississippi State and have known him for close to 20 years,” said Coach Beamer. “He’s a fantastic coach with head coaching experience and coordinator experience. He’s a long-time NFL coach who will be a great asset and resource for our program and will help us in so many ways.”

Kitchens returns to the collegiate level for the first time since 2005. He began his coaching career in the college ranks, working as the running backs and tight ends coach at Glenville State (W.Va.) in 1999, before joining LSU as a graduate assistant in 2000 under Nick Saban. He also logged collegiate stints at North Texas as a running backs coach (2001-03) and at Mississippi State as a tight ends (2004) and running backs (2005) coach. Coach Beamer was the cornerbacks coach and recruiting coordinator on Sylvester Croom’s staff in Starkville in 2004 and ‘05.

Kitchens moved to the professional ranks in 2006 as a tight ends coach with the Dallas Cowboys under Bill Parcells. He then spent 11 years with the Arizona Cardinals, working with the tight ends (2007-12), quarterbacks (2013-16) and running backs (2017). In 2008, the Cardinals appeared in Super Bowl XLIII.

In 2018, Kitchens was hired as the running backs coach/associate head coach for the Cleveland Browns. He was promoted to offensive coordinator midway through that 2018 season and was credited with helping Baker Mayfield have a successful rookie season in which he was the runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors. On January 12, 2019, Kitchens became the 17th head coach in Cleveland Browns’ history. He posted a 6-10 mark in his lone season as the Browns’ head coach, defeating all three of their AFC North rivals (Baltimore, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh) in the same season for the first time since the division came into existence in 2002.

Born November 29, 1974 in Gadsden, Ala., Kitchens was named Mr. Football in the state of Alabama following his senior season at Attalla’s Etowah High School. He attended the University of Alabama, where he played quarterback for the Crimson Tide. A three-year starter (1995-97), he threw for 4,668 yards and 30 touchdowns, and led the Tide to wins in the 1995 Citrus Bowl and in the 1997 Outback Bowl. He finished his collegiate career ranked third in the school’s history in career passing attempts, fourth in career passing yards, and fifth in career completions. He also played baseball during his freshman and senior seasons at Alabama.

Kitchens and his wife, Ginger, have two daughters, Bennett and Camden.

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