MINNEAPOLIS — If everything goes according to plan, the Vikings will announce Kevin O'Connell as their new head coach after the Super Bowl.
O'Connell is the Rams offensive coordinator. He's 36 years old, which continues a current trend in the NFL of young coordinators getting head coaching jobs.
But in all honesty, what's old is new again.
The Vikings first ever head coach, Norm Van Brocklin, was 34 years old when he was hired in 1961.
The great Don Shula was just 33 when the Colts hired him in 1963.
John Madden was only 32 when the Raiders made him head coach in 1969.
Bill Cowher was 34 when the Steelers hired him as head coach in 1992.
Those last three guys are all in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The point is, hiring young assistants to be head coaches in the NFL is nothing new, and it can work.
“It truly was who he is as a person, his leadership, his values,” says Tony Pastoors.
Pastoors is the L.A. Rams Vice President of Football and Business Administration.
He was involved in the Rams' hiring of Sean McVay, the youngest head coach in NFL history, at the age of 30, back in 2017.
And McVay has led the Rams to a pair of Super Bowl appearances.
So what does Pastoors see in the Rams' offensive coordinator, and new Vikings head coach, Kevin O'Connell?
“I think what separates Kevin is leadership, who he is as a person, the way he can connect with players..." says Pastoors. “I think that's one of the great things about Kevin. He is an unbelievable collaborator, and our offensive staff works constantly.”
And on coming to Minnesota?
“We chatted a little about the weather...for a guy from San Diego, might be a little different for him and the kids, but I think he fits, he's a great guy, gets along with everybody, he's really going to love it,” says Pastoors.