Minnesota Vikings hire Kevin O’Connell, a ‘innovative’ new head coach

The VikingsOfficially hired RamsKevin O'Connell, the offensive coordinator, will be the 10th head coaching in franchise history.

Mark Wilf, Vikings president and co-owner, described O'Connell as “a strong leader and an innovative coach” in a statement that was released from the team.

He said that Kevin played at all levels of the game, giving him an unique connection with players. He is also highly respected by the league.

Zygi Wif, the chairman and co-owner of O'Connell, praised O'Connell's football IQ and stated that he is passionate about “preparing, developing, and communicating with his players.”

He stated, “Beyond Xs and os, everyone we talked to during this search process spoke highly Kevin's abilities to motivate players and coaches.”

The Vikings are planning to host a news conference on Thursday to officially introduce O'Connell, their new head coach.

O'Connell was not allowed to be announced by the Vikings while O'Connell was still with the Rams in the postseason. Los Angeles' Super Bowl LVI victory was the culmination to its season.

O'Connell (36), was among four candidates who were invited to the Vikings' second interview. He was also interviewed by Raheem Morris, Rams defensive coordinator, and then-Giants defensive coach Patrick Graham.

Kwesi Adomo-Mensah, the Vikings general manager, said that Kevin was a great partner and a great person to work with in building a football team for long-term success. He is a great leader and has a knack for simplifying complex issues. This will allow us to solve problems in all areas of football. He is a positive, positive individual who will contribute to a high-energy environment.

Sources tell Schefter that O'Connell is likely to bring Wes Phillips, Rams tight ends coordinator and passing game coordinator to Minnesota as his offensive coordinator/passing games coordinator. Schefter reported that Thomas Brown, Rams runningbacks coach, will interview with Vikings for the job of offensive coordinator.

O'Connell joins Brandon Staley, the former Rams defensive coordinator, as the second coordinator on Sean McVay's team to get a job as a head coach.

ESPN sources said that O'Connell's staff has also been assigned a Vikings defensive coordinator. The team reached a deal last week with Ed Donatell.

Mike Zimmer was fired last month, after eight seasons. O'Connell will replace him. The Vikings finished the season with an 8-9 record, and missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.

“This franchise is rich in history and has a large fan base. I have been on the Vikings' sideline at U.S. Bank Stadium, and it was a great experience. It is a privilege to now have the support from these passionate Vikings fans. O'Connell released a statement saying that he was committed to bringing them a Super Bowl victory.

O'Connell was the Rams' second offensive coordinator in his second season since joining the team in 2020. Prior to that, O'Connell was with Washington for three years, serving as the offensive coordinator in 2019, passing team coordinator in 2018, and as the quarterbacks coach.

He was a NFL quarterback, being taken by the Patriots as the third rounder in 2008. He also spent time in five seasons with the Chargers, Jets and Dolphins.

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