The ultimate “Man, that guy really deserves to be a head coach” coach in the NFL is finally getting his crack as an NFL head coach. Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer will be the new head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, multiple outlets are reporting Wednesday morning.
Zimmer has been an NFL assistant coach for 20 seasons, the last 14 as a defensive coordinator. After spending 15 years in the college ranks at Missouri, Weber State and Washington State, Zimmer became the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive backs coach in 1994 under head coach Barry Switzer. He was elevated to defensive coordinator in 2000 and stayed through 2006. After a one-year stay with the Atlanta Falcons, Zimmer joined the Cincinnati Bengals’ staff in 2008.
Zimmer’s departure, coupled with offensive coordinator Jay Gruden getting the Washington Redskins job, means Marvin Lewis now must replace both coordinators.
So 2013 Bengals are the 3rd team since 1990 to have NFL teams poach both coordinators to be HCs ('06 Chargers, '94 49ers). @billbarnwell
— Chase Stuart (@fbgchase) January 15, 2014
Every NFL writer I know likes dealing with Mike Zimmer. Bet Twitter reflects that sentiment today with Vikings hire.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) January 15, 2014
Cincinnati ranked third in the NFL in total defense this season and tied for fifth in scoring defense. He takes over a Vikings club that ranked 31st in total defense and dead last in scoring defense in 2013.
Minnesota finished 5-10-1 this season after reaching the playoffs with a 10-6 mark in 2012. The Vikings will have the eighth pick in April’s NFL Draft.
Zimmer’s hiring means only the Cleveland Browns are looking for an head coach in the NFL.