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Vikings Hire Kennedy Polamalu As Running Backs Coach

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If the name sounds familiar. . .well, it should.

NCAA Football: UNLV at UCLA Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The shuffling of the coaching staff for the Minnesota Vikings continues, as there’s another new face on the offensive side of things.

Numerous reports have indicated that the Vikings have hired Kennedy Polamalu to serve as their running backs coach. Polamalu. . .who, yes, is related to future Hall of Fame safety Troy Polamalu (Kennedy is Troy’s uncle). . .most recently served as the offensive coordinator of the UCLA Bruins.

Kennedy Polamalu was a fullback for UCLA’s cross-town rival, USC, from 1982 to 1985. Since then, he’s held numerous coaching jobs in the professional and collegiate ranks. He started his coaching career in 1992 at UCLA, and has also had stops at San Diego State and Colorado. He has six years of NFL experience as a running backs coach, as he served in that capacity for the Cleveland Browns in 2004 and the Jacksonville Jaguars from 2005 to 2009.

Polamalu returned to USC in 2010 amid some controversy. Polamalu had been hired by the Tennessee Titans as their running backs coach, but just before training camp accepted an offer from then-USC head coach Lane Kiffin to be his offensive coordinator. Kiffin did this without giving then-Titans head coach Jeff Fisher a heads-up of any sort about his intentions. It’s not a written rule anywhere, but it appears that it’s generally a protocol that is followed for these sorts of things. Fisher criticized Kiffin’s tactics, but Polamalu departed for southern California anyway. He was the offensive coordinator for the Trojans until 2012, and then returned to UCLA after taking a year off.

Welcome to Minnesota, Kennedy Polamalu!