Kevin O’Connell named 10th coach in Vikings history
The Minnesota Vikings officially named Kevin O’Connell as the 10th head coach in franchise history Wednesday.
He replaces Mike Zimmer, who was fired last month after eight seasons.
O’Connell joins the Vikings after winning Super Bowl LVI as the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator.
“We are ecstatic to add Kevin as our head coach,” Vikings owner and president Mark Wilf said in a news release. “He is a strong leader, an innovative coach and an excellent communicator. Kevin played the game at all levels, which gives him a unique connection to players, and he is highly respected throughout the league. Vikings fans should be excited for the future of this team under Kevin’s direction.”
O’Connell served under Rams coach Sean McVay for the past two seasons. Prior to that job, he was the offensive coordinator in Washington, where he coached quarterbacks in 2017 when the starter was Kirk Cousins, now Minnesota’s QB.
“As I spent time with Kevin during the interview process, it became immediately clear he will be a great partner in building this football team for long-term success,” said Vikings general manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. “He understands what is critical to leading a team that wins at the highest level, and he has an ability to simplify the complex, which will help us in problem-solving in all football areas. He is a genuinely positive person who will help create a high-energy internal environment.”
O’Connell will be a stark contrast to the defensive-minded Zimmer, whose 72-56-1 record included an 8-9 finish in 2021.
“Kevin is an impressive and respected leader who has been a part of some explosive offensive schemes,” said Vikings owner and chairman Zygi Wilf. “He has a tremendous football IQ and is passionate about preparing, developing and communicating with his players. Beyond the Xs and Os, everyone we spoke with throughout this search process spoke highly of Kevin’s ability to motivate players, coaches and staff.”
O’Connell, 36, becomes the second-youngest head coach in the NFL, older than only McVay.
“I greatly appreciate the Wilf family, Kwesi and the entire Minnesota Vikings organization for providing the opportunity to be their next head coach,” O’Connell said. “This is a franchise with a deep history and a tremendous fan base. Having been on the visitors’ sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium and experiencing that environment as an opposing coach, I am excited to now have the support of these passionate Vikings fans. I am committed to working tirelessly to bring them a Super Bowl championship.”
The Vikings are 0-4 in the Super Bowl, with their most recent appearance coming after the 1976 season.
–Field Level Media