Coach from Vikings 2022 Staff Joins Broncos

JJ McCarthy
Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings 2022 special teams encountered ups and downs, and now special teams coordinator Matt Daniels will hope to improve in 2023 without his righthand man.

That’s Ben Kotwica, who served as Minnesota’s assistant special teams coordinator last year. Vikings rival Sean Payton took over the Denver Broncos on January 31st, and Kotwica will evidently join the squad, too.

Coach from Vikings 2022 Staff Joins Broncos

ESPN’s Jeff Legwold tweeted Friday, “Have been told Mike Westhoff has signed a deal to be assistant head coach for Broncos and will oversee special teams with Ben Kotwica having been hired as special teams coordinator. And Kotwica is now the second former helicopter pilot to be Broncos ST coach — so was Mike Priefer.”

Coach from Vikings 2022
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

It’s a promotion for Kotwica, 48, after joining the Vikings staff one year ago when Kevin O’Connell took over. Before working with the Vikings [and now Broncos], Kotwica previously worked with the Atlanta Falcons (2019-2020), Washington Commanders (2014-2018), New York Jets (2007-2013), and the United States Military Academy Prep School (2005-2006).

Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports.

The Broncos had a pitiful season in 2022, finishing with a 5-12 record after trading a king’s ransom to the Seattle Seahawks for quarterback Russell Wilson last March. The franchise hired former Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett to succeed Vic Fangio 13 months ago, and Hackett emphatically wasn’t ready for the big job. Either that — or Wilson suddenly became inept and dragged everyone down with him.

Payton, Kotwica, and others will get a crack at transforming the Wilson Experience in Denver into positivity. Denver is on the hook for a monstrous guaranteed-money cap hit with Wilson, and if anyone can “fix” him, it’s Payton — is the working theory anyway.

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports.

As the second in command on special teams, Kotwica’s Vikings ranked 30th per special teams DVOA last year. So while Matt Daniels must improve that mark, Kotwica waltzes into a Broncos program that ranked 29th via the same metric. The Vikings and Broncos are the Spider-man meme in that regard.

Kotwica coached with new Denver assistant head coach Mike Westhoff in New York when Rex Ryan led the Jets. And that same Rex Ryan is considered the frontrunner to land the Broncos 2023 defensive coordinator job. NFL Network‘s Ian Rapoport tweeted Wednesday night, “Comeback? Rex Ryan has emerged as a top candidate for the Broncos defensive coordinator job, per me and Mike Garafolo. Ryan has been on ESPN after being fired by the Bills in 2016. If all goes well, he could be headed back in the NFL.”

There could be a mini-reunion in Denver before it’s all said and done.

Broncos general manager George Paton worked for the Vikings from 2007 to 2020 before heading west to Denver in 2021.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by