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Vikings Name Ed Donatell New Defensive Coordinator


EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings are continuing to build out their coaching staff.

Head Coach Kevin O'Connell, whose hire Minnesota officially announced Wednesday, has named Ed Donatell the Vikings defensive coordinator.

Donatell served as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator from 2019-21. He recently joined the Seahawks as a senior defensive assistant but will transition now to the Vikings.

The Broncos defense improved in multiple statistical categories in the three years with Donatell. Most notably, Denver ranked 15th in red-zone situations in 2018, but when Donatell stepped in, that ranking improved to No. 1 in 2019 (39.1 percent) and 2020 (47.5). The Broncos ranked No. 3 in 2021 (50.0).

Last season, Denver ranked in the league's top 10 in total yards allowed (326.1), fourth downs (42.3 percent), red zone (50 percent) and points against (18.9).

Donatell missed six games during the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID-19 in November and requiring a five-day hospital stay. He has been outspoken about the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic and urged others to take proper precautions.

Prior to working in Denver, Donatell spent 2015-18 in the NFC North as the Bears defensive backs coach, coaching the likes of Adrian Amos, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson. He also worked as the Packers defensive coordinator from 2000-03.

View photos of new Vikings Defensive Coordinator Ed Donatell in photos from his time with the Broncos.

Donatell got his NFL coaching start in 1990 with the Jets. His full coaching journey in the league is detailed below:

1990-94 New York Jets, Defensive backs

1995-99 Denver Broncos, Secondary

2000-03 Green Bay Packers, Defensive coordinator

2004-06 Atlanta Falcons, Defensive coordinator

2007 New York Jets, Special assistant

2008 Washington, Defensive coordinator

2009-10 Denver Broncos, Secondary

2011-14 San Francisco 49ers, Defensive backs

2015-18 Chicago Bears, Defensive backs

2019-21 Denver Broncos, Defensive coordinator

2022 Seattle Seahawks, Senior defensive assistant

Donatell overlapped in San Francisco with Vikings new General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, who started with the 49ers in 2013.

Donatell coached in the collegiate ranks before beginning his career in the NFL. He started as a graduate assistant with Kent State from 1979-80 and then as a graduate assistant with Washington from 1981-82. He then spent time as a defensive backs coach at Pacific (1983-85), Idaho (1986-88) and Cal State Fullerton (1989).

A graduate of Stow High School (Ohio), Donatell later earned a master's degree in administration from Kent State University. He is married and has three children. His son, Tom, is currently the Seahawks defensive quality control coach.

Donatell joins a growing Vikings coaching staff under O'Connell.

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