The Minnesota Vikings have found their man. After an exhaustive three week search, the Vikings will reportedly hire former Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as the team’s new head coach.
Zimmer began his NFL career as a defensive backs coach with the Dallas Cowboys in 1994. He was promoted to DC in Dallas in 2000 and remained in that role until 2006. He spent a year as DC in Atlanta in 2007, the tumultuous Bobby Petrino year, then moved on to Cincinnati where he remained as DC under Marvin Lewis until 2013.
Zimmer had a chance at head coaching positions on a few previous occasions. He interviewed for the Dolphins job in 2012 but was ultimately passed over in favor of Joe Philbin, reportedly after scaring the Dolphins away by things he said in his interview. He interviewed with Cleveland in early 2013 but lost out to Rob Chudzinski.
The 57-year-old Zimmer has no head coaching experience at either the college or professional level.
Zimmer became the favorite in Minnesota early in the process. GM Rick Spielman had said that three men would receive second interviews as head coaching “finalists” but in the end only Zimmer got the second interview. Todd Bowles was reportedly among the finalists but had his interview put on hold. The name of the supposed third finalist never surfaced.
Zimmer arrived in Minnesota for his second interview Tuesday and remained in Minnesota overnight. When asked Tuesday evening about his status, Zimmer said he had not yet been offered the job.
Zimmer is believed to be considering his Cincinnati LB coach Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator. Scott Linehan and Norv Turner are believed to be offensive coordinator candidates.