It looks like Mike Zimmer will be hiring yet another offensive coordinator this off-season:
Sources: The #Browns are planning to hire #Vikings OC Kevin Stefanski as their new head coach. Runner-up last year, winner this year.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) January 12, 2020
Stefanski interviewed for the job this week, and just like former OC Pat Shurmur in 2017, as soon as the Vikings were eliminated from the playoffs, it looks like he got the job.
It’s Stefanski’s first head coaching job after being with the Vikings since 2006, starting out as an administrative assistant under Brad Childress, and methodically moving up that ladder to offensive coordinator for 2019. It was his first coaching assignment as a coordinator.
For the Vikings, a new offensive coordinator will need to be hired, and it will be the fifth time in what will be seven seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer. Norv Turner was with the Vikings from 2014 until halfway through 2016, then Shurmur through 2017. Last year the Vikings hired John DeFilippo, but fired him with three games remaining, Stefanski took over on an interim basis and was named permanent OC at the end of the season.
An obvious in-house candidate would be Gary Kubiak, who is currently holding the title of ‘Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor’. But as a head coach in Denver, Kubiak had some serious health challenges that forced him to step aside, and he’s reportedly very happy in his current role. Could he handle the added rigors of a coordinator? Only Kubiak can answer that.
Just thinking out loud, it seems that the easiest transition for the Vikings would be to move Quarterback Coach Klint Kubiak, Gary’s son, to offensive coordinator, keep Gary in his current role, and hire a new QB coach.
But, there will be time to discuss that later. For now, congratulations to Kevin Stefanski on being named the head coach of the Browns. Good luck to him and his family as they embark on their new adventure.