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Who is Mike Zimmer? Learn About the New Minnesota Vikings Head Coach

Joe Robbins, Getty Images

As the clock ticks down to an official announcement from the team, find out who new Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is and where he comes from.

Mike Zimmer, who is 57 year old (born June 6, 1956 in Peoria, Illinois), is part of a line of Zimmers with NFL ties. His father Bill played in the NFL and his son Adam served as defensive assistant for the Kansas City Chiefs before joining the Bengals as a special teams assistant.

This is Zimmer’s first head coaching job, and he will be the 9th head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Taking the job in Minnesota, he joins the ranks of Leslie Frazier, Brad Childress, Mike Tice, Dennis Green, Jerry Burns, Bud Grant, Les Steckel, and Norm Van Brocklin.

Mike’s playing days included a successful multi-sport high school career that included football, baseball, and wrestling. He went on to play quarterback at Illinois State University and moved to linebacker after breaking a thumb. His career was ended prematurely after a neck injury in 1976.

Mike Zimmer’s Coaching Positions

  • University of Missouri (defensive assistant, 1979-1980)
  • Weber State College (inside linebackers coach, 1981-1984)
  • Weber State College (defensive backs coach, 1985-1988)
  • Weber State College (defensive coordinator, 1983-1988)
  • Washington State (defensive coordinator/defensive backs, 1989-1993)
  • Dallas Cowboys (assistant coach of nickel defense, 1994)
  • Dallas Cowboys (defensive backs coach, 1995-2000)
  • Dallas Cowboys (defensive coordinator, 2001-2006)
  • Atlanta Falcons (defensive coordinator, 2007 – 2008)
  • Cincinnati Bengals (defensive coordinator, 2008 – 2013)

Zimmer comes from the Bill Parcells coaching tree, and actually comes highly endorsed by the highly respected former head coach.

While Zimmer’s preferred defensive scheme is 4-3 (similar to the Vikings current scheme), he also has experience with 3-4 defense in Dallas.

He does have one Super Bowl ring, winning it as the defensive backs coach in 1995 with the Dallas Cowboys.

Zimmer’s personal life includes three children, including Adam, the assistant with the Bengals. Mike’s wife of 27 years, Vikki, passed away suddenly in October of 2009.


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