The Vikings announced Monday they have hired Pat Shurmur as their new tight ends coach. The 2016 season will mark Shurmur’s 18th in the NFL.
Kevin Stefanski, who has been with Minnesota since 2006 and coached Vikings tight ends the past two seasons, will coach running backs, the team also announced.
Shurmur served as the Eagles interim head coach for the last game of the season, in which Philadelphia defeated the Giants 35-30. Shurmur also served as the Browns head coach for the 2011-12 seasons. In his first season in Cleveland, Shurmur improved the Browns offense that committed just 19 turnovers, tied for the fourth fewest in the league during the 2011 season.
Here are five things to know about Shurmur:
1) Variety of experience
Coaching tight ends is nothing new to Shurmur. He held the same position in Philadelphia from 1999-2001, during which three-time Pro Bowler Chad Lewis was a product of Shurmur’s program. From 1990-97, Shurmur coached the tight ends, special teams and offensive line for Michigan State, his alma mater.
Prior to joining Cleveland, Shurmur served as the offensive coordinator for two seasons (2009-10) in St. Louis, helping the Rams improve to a 7-9 record after they won only a single game in 2009.
Shurmur also held the offensive coordinator role for the Eagles from 2013-2015. In 2014, the Eagles scored 474 points to shatter his 2013 record of 442 points. Shurmur’s offense also set team records with touchdowns (54), completions (390), gross passing yards (4,581), 300-yard passing games (eight) and first downs (356).
2) Vikings connection
Vikings assistant offensive line coach Hank Fraley played center for the Rams while Shurmur was the offensive coordinator. In addition, Vikings assistant defensive backs coach Jonathan Gannon served as a scout for the Rams during Shurmur’s time in St. Louis.
3) Improves depth on Vikings offensive staff
With the addition of Shurmur, the Vikings now have three former NFL head coaches on their offensive staff, including Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner and recently hired offensive line coach Tony Sparano. Turner served as the Browns offensive coordinator in 2013, one season after Shurmur’s time there.
4) Midwest native
Born in Dearborn, Michigan, Shurmur remained near his hometown and attended college at Michigan State University where he was a four-year letterman. Shurmur started out playing guard and linebacker as a freshman but transitioned to center, where he started the next three seasons. Shurmur earned All-Big 10 Conference honors as a junior and co-captained as a senior when the Spartans defeated the USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl. He began working on his master’s degree during his senior season, becoming the first graduate student to play for Michigan State.
5) Football is in his blood
Shurmur’s uncle, Fritz Shurmur, was a 24-year NFL coach. His career included serving as the Packers defensive coordinator from 1994-98. Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI during Fritz’s tenure leading the defense.
Shurmur’s son, Kyle, is also pursuing a football career. After receiving offers from Pittsburgh, Illinois, Cincinnati and Central Florida, among others, Kyle committed to play at Vanderbilt. He is rated as a top quarterback prospect for the 2015 recruiting class. ESPN rated Kyle No. 110 overall and No. 7 as a pocket passing quarterback.