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Minnesota Vikings Hire Mike Zimmer as Head Coach

The Minnesota Vikings have hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer to be the team’s next head coach.

Mike Zimmer
Mike Zimmer

Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer prior to the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Paul Brown Stadium. Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

After two rounds of interviews, the Minnesota Vikings have decided to hire Mike Zimmer as their new head coach.

Zimmer, considered the favorite to land the gig for the past week, underwent a meeting with ownership on Tuesday and stayed in the Twin Cities over night. According to ESPN, the organization was thoroughly impressed with Zimmer’s coaching style and his development of players.

Zimmer spent the the past five years as the defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals, constructing one of the better units in the league. This season, Cincy ranked fifth in the league in total defense, allowing 318 yards per game and did so without the services of arguably its best player, Geno Atkins.

In 2009, Zimmer was named the NFL Assistant Coach of the Year, and ever since has led the Bengals finish in the top 10 in terms of total defense each year.

Zimmer was chosen from a pool of candidates that included San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Greg Roman, Niners defensive line coach Jim Tomlusa, Arizona Cardinals defensive coordinator Todd Bowles. He also reportedly received a second interview from the Tennessee Titans before the team hired Ken Whisenhunt to be their new head coach.

This will be Zimmer’s first head-coaching gig. Zimmer, 57, has been a defensive coordinator since 2006 with stints in the Dallas Cowboys and Atlanta Falcons before moving onto the Cincinnati in 2008. According to ESPN, Mike Mularkey is Zimmer’s top choice to serve as offensive coordinator.

Zimmer is the second Bengals coordinator to leave the team after their season ended. The Washington Redskins hired Cincinnati offensive coordinator Jay Gruden to be their head coach earlier this month.

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