Vikings’ Expected New Head Coach Has Connection To Patriots

Kevin O'Connell flew up the NFL coaching ranks


February 3

The Minnesota Vikings reportedly have zeroed in on their new head coach, and it’s not Jim Harbaugh.

Minnesota is expected to go with Kevin O’Connell to replace Mike Zimmer, as first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero. The 36-year-old soon will become the league’s second-youngest head coach, trailing only Sean McVay, who is just eight months younger than O’Connell.

So, who is Kevin O’Connell? The San Diego State product first broke into the NFL as a player in 2008 when he was a third-round pick by the Patriots. O’Connell lasted one season in New England and had five more stints in the league before ending his playing career in 2012.

O’Connell took on his first coaching job in 2015 when he became the Cleveland Browns quarterbacks coach. He then made stops with the San Francisco 49ers and Washington before becoming Los Angeles’ offensive coordinator in 2020. His final game with the Rams all but surely will be Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Feb. 13.

One of the Vikings’ opponents in O’Connell’s first season at the helm will be the team that drafted him 14 years ago. New England is set to visit Minnesota at some point during the 2022 campaign.

Thumbnail photo via Kirby Lee/USA TODAY Sports Images
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