NFL

Vikings confirm Kevin O'Connell as new head coach

By Sports Desk February 16, 2022

The Minnesota Vikings have confirmed Kevin O'Connell as their new head coach.

An announcement was delayed due to O'Connell's involvement in the Los Angeles Rams' postseason as their offensive coordinator, which ended with them winning Super Bowl LVI on Sunday.

O'Connell joined the Rams in 2020 from Washington and helped lead Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. to the championship this year.

Under the 36-year-old's guidance, the Rams offense finished ninth in the league, averaging 372.1 yards per game in 2021, while ranking second in plays of 50-plus yards (10), fourth in yards per play (5.98) and eighth in offensive touchdowns (51).

O'Connell also played a role in helping Kupp – who was named MVP for the Super Bowl – have a standout season, leading the NFL in receptions (145), receiving yards (1,947) and receiving touchdowns (16).

Vikings co-owner and president Mark Wilf was effusive in his praise for O'Connell after his appointment was confirmed, saying: "We are ecstatic to add Kevin as our head coach. 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."

Wilf's co-owner and brother Zygi, who is also the chairman, added: "Kevin is an impressive and respected leader who has been a part of some explosive offensive schemes. 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."

The Vikings also recently appointed a new general manager in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, whose first job was hiring a new head coach, and he also gave his thoughts on O'Connell and why he was chosen.

"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," Adofo-Mensah said.

"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."

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