EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings have promoted a member of their coaching staff to wide receivers coach, the team announced Friday.
Drew Petzing, who is entering his sixth season with the Vikings, most recently served as assistant quarterbacks coach under Kevin Stefanski during the 2018 season. He first joined Minnesota in 2014 and served as a coaching assistant for two seasons before working as the assistant wide receivers coach from 2016-17.
Here are five things to know about the Vikings new wide receivers coach:
1. Returning to receivers
During his two seasons as assistant wide receivers coach, Petzing had a hand in coaching dynamic duo Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
Thielen and Diggs combined for 3,995 yards from 2016-17, the most by a pair of teammates during that span. Thielen earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2017 and received Associated Press Second-Team All-Pro honors after recording 91 catches for 1,276 receiving yards.
2. An Ivy League man
Petzing spent six seasons coaching at the collegiate level, three of which were spent at Ivy League Schools.
He worked at Harvard as a volunteer student assistant in 2009 before transitioning to Boston College as a graduate assistant from 2010-11. In 2012, Petzing coached outside linebackers at Yale University.
Petzing isn’t the only one on the Vikings coaching staff with Ivy League ties. Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski played at the University of Pennsylvania from 2000-04 before working in the program’s football operations department in 2005.
3. Early NFL days
Petzing transitioned to the NFL in 2013 with the Cleveland Browns as a football operations intern who focused primarily on offense.
He joined former Vikings Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner and former quarterbacks coach Scott Turner in moving to Minnesota in 2014. That season, Petzing worked on the field with running backs, helping Jerick McKinnon post 538 rushing yards, which ranked third among rookies.
4. Previous playing career
Petzing attended Middlebury College and played defensive back for the Panthers in 2005 and 2006 before injuries cut short his playing career. During his time at Middlebury, Petzing teamed with kicker Stephen Hauschka, who transferred to N.C. State for the 2007 season.
He spent the next two years as a volunteer student assistant before graduating in 2009 with a degree in economics. He minored in math and philosophy.
5. East Coast roots
A Massachusetts native, Petzing attended Wellesley High School, where he was captain of the football team and earned the Jordan E. Sax Award in recognition of high character.
Petzing isn’t the only alum of Wellesley to make it to the NFL coaching ranks; Cowboys linebackers coach Ben Bloom also shares the alma mater.
Among Wellesley’s other notable alumni are former Oakland A’s first baseman Nate Freiman and well-known American poet Sylvia Plath.