Kevin O’Connell’s Age and Experience
O’Connell was born on May 25, 1985, and is 38 years old. The head coach is the second-youngest in the league behind only Los Angeles Rams head coach Sean McVay, who is 37 and in his seventh season.
O’Connell and McVay are two of just four head coaches in the NFL who are in their 30s. They are joined by Indianapolis Colts head coach Shane Steichen, 38, and Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans, 39, both of whom are in their first season on the job.
O’Connell is in his second season with the Vikings. He was hired in February of 2022 after being the offensive coordinator for the Rams under McVay’s tutelage. They defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 in Super Bowl LVI. He spent the 2020 and 2021 seasons in that role.
Prior to his time with Los Angeles, O’Connell started out his coaching career as the quarterbacks coach for the Cleveland Browns. He was hired to the offensive staff of the San Francisco 49ers in 2016 and joined the Washington Commanders the next season. He was with Washington through 2019 before joining the Rams.
In O’Connell’s second season with Los Angeles, the offense ranked second in receiving touchdowns (41), fifth in total yards (4,893), eighth in total touchdowns (63), and, of course, won the Super Bowl.
He was hired by Minnesota just three days after his Super Bowl victory. O’Connell is the Vikings’ 10th head coach in franchise history.
His hiring reunited him with quarterback Kirk Cousins, whom O’Connell had coached in 2017 with Washington.
O’Connell led Minnesota to a 13–4 record in 2022, tying Matt LaFleur and Jim Harbaugh for the second-most wins for a rookie head coach in NFL history. The Vikings won the NFC North for the first time since 2017 but were defeated by the New York Giants in the Wild Card round.
Prior to coaching, O’Connell had a playing career in the NFL. He finished his collegiate career at San Diego State with 7,689 passing yards and 46 touchdown passes, both top-five marks in the school’s history. He was drafted 94th overall by the New England Patriots in 2008.
O’Connell learned in New England behind Tom Brady and Matt Cassel and was waived shortly before the 2009 season. Throughout his career, he was with the Detroit Lions, New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, and (then) San Diego Chargers, mostly on practice squads.
Today, the Vikings sit at 6-5 and second in the NFC North behind the 8-3 Lions. They hold the sixth seed in the NFC.
The team had a stretch of five consecutive wins, missing quarterback Kirk Cousins for two of them. The veteran QB has been ruled out for the remainder of the season with a torn Achilles.
The team traded for quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who quickly became the starter. Dobbs has had success leading the offense and will continue to lead the team as they fight for a playoff spot.
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