Updated: 01/17/2014 2:53 PM KSTP.com By: Nick Tabbert
Photo: AP/David Kohl
Multiple sources reported Wednesday that the Vikings will hire Mike Zimmer as the next head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. Here is some background information on the team's soon-to-be ninth head coach.
Zimmer was born June 6, 1956 in Peoria, Illinois - a city along the Illinois River in the center of the state. He played quarterback and linebacker at Illinois State University, but his playing career was cut short due to a neck injury.
He spent the first 15 years of his coaching career in college football, starting as an assistant defensive coach at the University of Missouri in 1979, a position he held for two seasons.
From 1981-88 he coached at Weber State University as an inside linebackers, defensive backs coach and ultimately defensive coordinator.
Starting in 1989, Zimmer served as the defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach at Washington State University. He spent five years with the Cougars.
Zimmer's longest coaching tenure has been with the Dallas Cowboys. He started as an assistant defensive coach in 1994 and became the defensive backs coach the next season, the same season the Cowboys won Super Bowl XXX. One of Zimmer's players, CB Larry Brown, was named the game's MVP after a pair of interceptions.
Zimmer moved to defensive coordinator in 2000, a position he held until leaving the cowboys in 2006. His 2003 defense led the NFL in fewest yards allowed at 253.5 yards per game, and six times during his tenure with the team the Cowboys finished fifth of better in the NFL in scoring defense.
After a stop in Atlanta for the 2007 season, Zimmer joined the Cincinnati Bengals in Jan. 2008, where he has spent the last six seasons as defensive coordinator. His 2009 defense was fourth-best in the NFL with 301.4 yards allowed per game.
That same year Vikki Zimmer, his wife of 27 years, passed away in Cincinnati on Oct. 8. The Pro Football Writers of America recognized his trial and the team's strong ’09 performance by voting him the recipient of the Halas Award, which goes annually to the individual in the NFL who overcame the most adversity to succeed.
Zimmer has three children: a son named Adam and two daughters named Corri and Marki. Adam Zimmer was a defensive assistant and linebackers coach for the New Orleans Saints 2009 Super Bowl team, and joined the Bengals in 2013 as an assistant LBs coach.