MINNEAPOLIS — Two weeks after Minnesota Vikings offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak announced his retirement, the team is replacing the veteran playcaller with his son, Klint, multiple league sources confirmed to ESPN.
Klint Kubiak, 33, will take over the position his father held for the 2020 season. NFL Network was the first to report the younger Kubiak’s promotion to offensive coordinator after he coached Minnesota’s quarterbacks for the past two years.
Minnesota’s offensive staff is set for the upcoming season with Andrew Janocko, who coached wide receivers last season, expected to become the team’s quarterbacks coach, while Keenan McCardell, who coached wide receivers in Jacksonville from 2017 to 2020, will hold the same position with the Vikings, according to league sources.
The long-expected promotion of Klint Kubiak to offensive coordinator supports Mike Zimmer’s wishes to preserve continuity on offense after the Vikings finished 7-9 and failed to reach the playoffs. Zimmer said he felt Minnesota’s offense was the most explosive he’s had in seven seasons with the Vikings and pointed toward wanting to maintain the same philosophy moving forward.
“I love the scheme that we’re running offensively, I love the wide zone offense, I love the play-action passes,” Zimmer said in January. “All those things. A coach told me one time that your offense should be what your quarterback is best at. And that’s what I feel Kirk [Cousins] is best at. Those kind of things are what makes him really good. So to me, that is really important.”
In one season with Gary Kubiak as Minnesota’s offensive coordinator, the Vikings finished fourth in total offense and 11th in scoring with quarterback Kirk Cousins rebounding from throwing 10 interceptions in his first six games to finishing with a career-high 35 touchdowns. Running back Dalvin Cook earned MVP consideration while rushing for a career-high 1,557 yards and scoring 17 total touchdowns, while Justin Jefferson broke the franchise’s record for catches and receiving yards as a rookie and is second all time with 1,400 receiving yards in a rookie season.
The 2021 season will be Klint Kubiak’s first as an offensive coordinator in the NFL. Before joining his father, offensive line coach/run game coordinator Rick Dennison and tight ends coach Brian Pariani in Minnesota in 2019, the younger Kubiak was an offensive assistant and quarterbacks coach in Denver from 2016 to 2018. He has never called plays at the college or professional level.
Nearing the completion of their staff for the 2021 season, the Vikings promoted Ryan Ficken to special-teams coordinator last week. Ficken was previously Minnesota’s assistant special-teams coach from 2013 to 2020.