Oct 20, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) on the sidelines with offensive coordinator Adam Gase late in the fourth quarter against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Colts defeated the Broncos 39-33. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The Vikings are only at the very beginning of the search for a new head coach but already some favorites are emerging. One name that has shot to the top of the list is Adam Gase, the current offensive coordinator in Denver.
The Vikings have reportedly already shown interest in Gase, who is allowed to interview during Denver’s bye week but has said he will decline interview requests until after the Broncos’ season has wrapped up.
Gase has an interesting background as a coach. Only 35, his rise through the ranks has been rather swift, and has been aided immensely by his relationships with some pretty big-name individuals.
Gase attended Michigan State, where he learned under then-head coach Nick Saban and defensive assistant Dean Pees (Pees happens to be the current defensive coordinator at Baltimore). At Michigan State, Gase struck up a relationship with another young up-and-comer, Josh McDaniels.
Gase went with Saban to LSU, remaining there for two years, then took a job with the Lions as a scout. While in Detroit, he caught the eye of then-offensive coordinator Mike Martz who made him the QB coach in 2007.
Gase left with Martz for San Francisco in 2008. When his old pal Josh McDaniels became the Broncos head coach, Gase jumped to Denver and became receivers coach. He was elevated to QB coach when John Fox took over, then became OC at the start of the 2013 season.
Gase also has a connection to New Orleans Saints LB coach Joe Vitt: He is married to Vitt’s daughter Jennifer.
After a year calling plays for Peyton Manning, Gase could be ready to take the next step in his career path and become a head coach. It’s too early to speculate on who his assistants might be but as we’ve seen he has clear ties to several established coaches, including Mike Martz, Dean Pees and Josh McDaniels.
Hiring Joe Vitt might smack a little too much of nepotism, however.