Vikings Hire New Coach from Southern Illinois

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings lost oodles of coaches this offseason, starting near the top with defensive coordinator Ed Donatell. That move was elective, but many other coaching departures were the result of Minnesota’s 13-4 record — everybody wants prosperous young coaches from a division-winning football team.

So, the Vikings are replenishing the coaching staff on the fly as of late, and another man entered the fold Friday — Dalmin Gibson from Southern Illinois University.

Vikings Hire New Coach from Southern Illinois

On3Sports reporter Matt Zenitz tweeted Friday, “The Minnesota Vikings are set to hire Southern Illinois special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach Dalmin Gibson as an assistant special teams coach, sources tell On3Sports. Gibson was previously an analyst at Michigan State and a GA at Colorado.”

Coach from Southern
Dalmin Gibson from the Southern Illinois University. Gibson joined the Minnesota Vikings on March 3rd, 2023, as a special teams coordinator, replacing Ben Kotwica. Image Courtesy of

A South Dakotan, Gibson will replace Ben Kotwica, who bolted for the Denver Broncos in February, taking a promotion on Sean Payton’s new staff in the mountains. Gibson will report to Matt Daniels, the special teams coordinator who took over in 2022 when Kevin O’Connell came to town.

Gibson spent the 2022 campaign at Southern Illinois University as a special teams coordinator and defensive ends coach. And before that, he was employed as a special teams analyst for two years at Michigan State.

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports.

Gibson graduated from Dickinson State University in North Dakota in 2014, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and exercise science. He also has a master’s in sports management from Chadron State College. The year after graduating from Dickinson State, he stayed at his alma mater as a special teams coordinator and linebackers coach.

Then, in 2017, Gibson ventured to the University of Colorado, where he held various defensive coaching gigs from 2017 to 2019.

With the Vikings, Gibson will encounter a fairly stable special teams group, although the identity of the 2023 kicker is unclear. Greg Joseph is the frontrunner to return next season but is a free agent and can sign anywhere in the league on March 15th. The Vikings kicker was sweet and salty in 2022, leading the NFL in game-winning kicks but struggling with extra points and “ordinary” field goals.

Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Under the Matt Daniels and Ben Kotwica combo, Minnesota ranked 30th in special teams DVOA, a poor mark, only besting the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2022. The Vikings special teams never felt too rotten, but the numbers suggest otherwise.

The Salukis’ website described Gibson’s origins, “He was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, and graduated from Harding County High School in Buffalo, South Dakota, where he lettered in football and basketball. Gibson and his wife, Sammy, have one daughter, Rua.”

Thankfully for Gibson, he’ll work with one of the league’s best young punters in Ryan Wright and deadliest kick returners, Kene Nwangwu.

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).

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