Despite leading his team to a 13-4 record, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was not nominated for the 2022 Coach of the Year award.
Despite becoming just the second rookie NFL head coach since 2012 to lead his team to at least 13 wins in his very first season, Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell was surprisingly not among the five nominees selected for the 2022 AP Coach of the Year award.
The nominees were revealed on Wednesday, and they included Kyle Shanahan of the San Francisco 49ers, Brian Daboll of the New York Giants, Nick Sirianni of the Philadelphia Eagles, Doug Pederson of the Jacksonville Jaguars, and Sean McDermott of the Buffalo Bills.
Apparently, the selection committee for the nominees of the award didn’t believe O’Connell achieved enough success during his first-ever season as an NFL head coach.
Minnesota Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell snubbed by Coach of the Year nomination
What more did O’Connell need to do in his first season with the Vikings to even get a nomination for the Coach of the Year award?
If Minnesota had won their first-round playoff game against the Giants, might that have helped? Possibly, but Mike Vrabel of the Tennessee Titans won the award in 2021 despite his 12-win team losing in their first matchup of the playoffs. The Titans’ first-round loss in the postseason didn’t seem to have an impact on Vrabel winning the Coach of the Year award.
We’ve seen this sort of disrespect for a Vikings head coach after a very successful season in the past though. After he helped Minnesota win a franchise-record 15 games in 1998, Dennis Green lost the Coach of the Year award for that season to Dan Reeves of the Atlanta Falcons.
No Vikings head coach has won the AP Coach of the Year award since the 1969 season when Bud Grant was deservedly given the honor.
At this rate, O’Connell will likely have to lead the Vikings to a 17-0 record during the 2023 season to earn a nomination for the next AP Coach of the Year award. Even then, it might not be enough to impress the voters.