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Vikings Conclude Initial Interview with Ryan Nielsen for Defensive Coordinator Job


EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings on Monday confirmed they have interviewed Ryan Nielsen for their open defensive coordinator position.

Nielsen is currently the Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach of the New Orleans Saints, whom he first joined as defensive line coach in 2017.

NCAA/NFL Coaching Career

2002 Southern California Volunteer Assistant

2004 Idaho Assistant

2005-07 Mississippi Defensive Line Coach

2008-09 Central Connecticut State Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line & Linebackers Coach

2010 Tennessee-Martin Defensive Line/Special Teams Coach

2011 Northern Illinois Defensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

2012 Northern Illinois Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

2013 North Carolina State Defensive Line Coach/Recruiting Coordinator

2014-16 North Carolina State Defensive Line Coach/Run Game Coordinator

2017-20 New Orleans Saints Defensive Line Coach

2021 New Orleans Saints Assistant Head Coach/Defensive Line Coach

2022 New Orleans Saints Co-Defensive Coordinator/Defensive Line Coach

Ryan Nielsen-ap-2560


Nielsen attended Southern California (1997-2001), starting 30 games at defensive tackle from 1998-2001 and garnering the team award for Defensive Lineman of the Year in 1999. He graduated with a degree in public policy in 2002 and was invited to training camp with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2002. Nielsen played for the Arena Football League's Los Angeles Avengers in 2004.


Nielsen was born March 20, 1979, in Southern California. He attended Royal High School in Simi Valley, California.