New Vikings Coaches Express Excitement Over Joining Zimmer’s Staff

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings have a little more than two months to go until the team’s voluntary offseason program begins in mid-April.

But when players return to Twin Cities Orthopedics Performance Center, they will notice Minnesota’s coaching staff has undergone a mini makeover, particularly on the offensive side of the ball.

First, the Vikings removed the interim tag from Kevin Stefanski’s title in early January, making him the offensive coordinator.

And the Vikings elevated Drew Petzing to wide receivers coach after he spent the previous five seasons as an assistant on staff.

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer also brought in a handful of fresh faces, including Gary Kubiak, who will be the Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor and has four total Super Bowls to his name as a coach.

Kubiak’s son, Klint, will be the quarterbacks coach, while Brian Pariani will coach the tight ends and Rick Dennison is now in charge of the offensive line and will be the run game coordinator.

The Vikings also hired Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf after Mike Preifer took the same role in Cleveland.

All in all, the Vikings have five coaches who are new to the staff and two who will have a different role than the 2018 season.

Here is a quick rundown of the recent changes in Minnesota:

Gary Kubiak, Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor

Kubiak has nearly 10 years of head coaching experience in the NFL and has an 82-75 overall regular-season record. He was the head coach in Houston for nearly eight seasons from 2006-13 and went 61-64 while leading the Texans to a pair of AFC South titles and two playoff appearances.

Kubiak then spent the 2015 and 2016 seasons as the head coach in Denver, compiling a 21-11 record, where he won Super Bowl 50. He also has three rings as an assistant in Denver and San Francisco.

Coach Reaction

“I really think the world of your head coach and believe in this organization. I wasn’t quite through yet, and I’m looking forward to teaching a little bit more.” — Kubiak on joining the Vikings organization

Marwan Maalouf, Special Teams Coordinator

Maalouf spent the previous six seasons as an assistant special teams coach with the Miami Dolphins.

He played offensive guard for Baldwin Wallace University from 1997-99 and was a two-time All-Ohio Athletic Conference selection. He was the football program’s Outstanding Offensive Lineman and was elected as a team captain his senior season.

Coach Reaction

“We’ve had a chance to play the Vikings when I was in Miami the past two seasons – once was in the preseason and then in the regular season last year, and I was very impressed with everything.” — Maalouf on recent matchups against Minnesota

Brian Pariani, Tight ends coach

Pariani most recently coached tight ends for the Broncos for the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He also served as a tight ends coach for the Broncos from 1995-2004, for the Texans (2006-13) and for the Ravens (2014). In 2005, Pariani entered the collegiate world as Syracuse’s offensive coordinator for one season.

Pariani got his start in the NFL as a scout for the 49ers in 1990 before serving as an offensive assistant in San Francisco from 1991-94.

Coach Reaction

“I’ve had a chance to talk to them and watch them on tape … I see guys that are competitive on tape. They really enjoy the game, you can tell by the way they play. They play for their teammates.” — Pariani on his early evaluation of Minnesota’s tight ends

Klint Kubiak, Quarterbacks coach

Kubiak is back for his second stint in Minnesota after joining the Vikings in 2013 as a quality control/assistant wide receivers coach under Leslie Frazier as the head coach and Bill Musgrave as the offensive coordinator.

Kubiak was retained by Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer in 2014 and worked under former Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner. He served as an offensive assistant/quarterbacks coach in Denver for the past two seasons.

Coach Reaction

“It’s been great getting done playing and getting right into coaching. I think some years feel like a decade, you know? But no, it’s been a blast. Every year has been a new learning experience and helped me grow.” — Kubiak on his five seasons as an NFL coach

Drew Petzing, Wide receivers coach

Petzing most recently served as assistant quarterbacks coach under 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.

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.

Coach Reaction

“It’s extremely exciting for me. Obviously any chance you get to have a bigger impact with the organization and the team that I’ve been with now for six years, it’s a great opportunity. It’s a great room, it’s a great group of guys I’m working with and have worked with over the last six years, so I’m extremely excited about it. I’m really looking forward to it.” — Petzing on his elevated role with the Vikings

Rick Dennison, Offensive line coach/running game coordinator

Dennison, who was a linebacker with Denver from 1982-90, worked as the Jets offensive line/run game coordinator.

He has served as an offensive coordinator four times for three different teams: the Broncos (2006-08 and 2015-16), the Texans (2010-13) and the Bills (2017). Dennison also served as the Broncos special teams coordinator (1997-2000) and offensive line coach (2001-05 and 2009) and as the Ravens quarterbacks coach (2014).

View photos of the 2019 Minnesota Vikings coaching staff.

The Vikings introduced special teams coordinator Marwan Maalouf, assistant head coach/offensive advisor Gary Kubiak, quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak, offensive line coach/ run game coordinator Rick Dennison, tight ends coach Brian Pariani, and wide receivers Drew Petzing to the media on Thursday afternoon.

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