Vikings Have Lost 5 Coaches So Far This Offseason

One of the perks for coaches on a 13-4 team is attention leaguewide during the NFL’s coaching carousel. The Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North with that 13-4 mark, and so far this offseason, five coaches have departed the organization, with three receiving promotions.

The number ticked to five over the weekend as assistant special teams coach Ben Kotwica accepted a special teams coordinator job with the Denver Broncos. NBC Sports’ JP Finlay tweeted, “Ben Kotwica set to take over as special teams coordinator for Denver Broncos, per source. Previous stops with the Jets and in Washington, spent last year in Minnesota. Sharp guy joining an experienced staff for Sean Payton and the Broncos.”

Vikings Have Lost 5
Dec 4, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Washington Redskins special teams coordinator Ben Kotwica against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

Kotwica will be tasked with fixing the Broncos 29th-ranked special teams on Sean Payton’s staff while Denver hopes to salvage the Russell Wilson experiment. The Vikings employed Kotwica for one season, joining Minnesota when Kevin O’Connell took over last February.

Vikings Have Lost 5 Coaches So Far This Offseason

But before Kotwica, defensive coordinator Ed Donatell started the Vikings coaching movement. Minnesota severed ties with Donatell on January 19th, four days after the club lost at home to the New York Giants in the postseason. Minnesota’s defense ranked 27th in the business per DVOA, 30th in points allowed, and 31st in yards surrendered. Brian Flores took over for Donatell on February 6th.

Popular Vikings Podcast
Jan 15, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive coordinator Ed Donatell looks on before a wild card game against the New York Giants at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Krohn-USA TODAY Sports.

Following Donatell’s exit, assistant quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson accepted a promotion on Demeco Ryans’ staff in Houston. Like Kotwica, the homegrown Houstonian, Johnson, joined the Vikings staff less than a year ago when Minnesota welcomed O’Connell from the Los Angeles Rams. Before the recent Vikings gig, Johnson was the Indianapolis Colts offensive quality control coach. Johnson will lead the charge with a new Texans QB1 in September unless the team rolls with Davis Mills once again.

Texans Steal Promising
Sep 30, 2022; Thundridge, United Kingdom; Minnesota Vikings assistant quarterbacks coach Jerrod Johnson during practice at Hanbury Manor. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Assistant defensive line coach A’lique Terry departed, too, heading westerly to the University of Oregon. Terry will lead Oregon’s offensive line in 2023.

Ducks head coach Dan Lanning said about Terry last week, “A’lique is very familiar with our program and understands the values and goals that we have here in Eugene. He is passionate, with unique experiences that range from the college ranks all the way to the NFL as a coach. He also has experience as a player, competing at the Power 5 level on the offensive line.”

University of Oregon Offensive Line Coach A’Lique Terry. Image Courtesy of

Finally, Vikings 2022 linebackers coach Greg Manusky won’t return this fall. Manusky, 56, was the team’s linebackers coach for just one season. The Vikings starting linebackers, Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks, were considered weak spots on the defensive depth chart when it was all said and done in 2022, although neither performed terribly. The twosome merely lacked speed, and when rookie Brian Asamoah experienced playing time in glimpses, it felt like a breath of fresh air.

Ties with Another 2022
Aug 15, 2019; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins defensive coordinator Greg Manusky stands on the field during warmups prior to the Redskins game against the Cincinnati Bengals at FedExField. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports.

New defensive coordinator Brian Flores likely has a different vision than Manusky, hence the parting of ways. Minnesota is expected to evaluate the contracts of Kendricks and Hicks in the coming weeks and could part ways with one or both men.

So, if you’re keeping track at home, here’s the Vikings outgoing coaching movement:

Ed Donatell —> TBD
Jerrod Johnson —> Texans
A’lique Terry —> University of Oregon
Ben Kotwica —> Broncos
Greg Manusky —> TBD

NFL free agency begins the week of March 13.

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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