Minnesota Vikings fire defensive coordinator Ed Donatell

(ABC 6 News) – The Minnesota Vikings are parting ways with defensive coordinator Ed Donatell.

In a statement released Thursday afternoon, Head Coach Kevin O’Connell announced that the team will be going in a different direction at defensive coordinator in 2023.

“While this was a difficult decision because of the tremendous respect I have for Ed as a person and a coach, I believe it is the right move for the future of our football team.

I want to thank Ed for his commitment to the Vikings this past season, for the positive impact he had on our players and coaches and for his role in helping me as a first-year head coach lay this foundation. We all wish Ed and his wife, Shari, only the best in the future.”

The team will immediately begin the search to fill this critical role as we continue to build a championship standard for the Minnesota Vikings. 

The Vikings ranked second worst in yards allowed in the NFL and fourth worst in points allowed during the regular season.

They gave up 431 yards and 31 points to the New York Giants in their wild-card round loss last week.

Coach Kevin O’Connell was hired a year ago by the Vikings and made Donatell his first defensive coordinator.

The 65-year-old Donatell has coached 32 seasons in the league with defensive coordinator stints with four different teams.