The Minnesota Vikings have their new head coach in former Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer, a veteran coach who has been waiting a long time for such a gig.
Zimmer has come close to the finish line with multiple head coaching gigs previously, returning to teams for second interviews but never actually landing a job. And while Minnesota is the place where he finally landed, Zimmer said recently that it was another close call.
The difference this time, however, was that Zimmer was the one who almost removed himself from the search process. According to Mike Garafolo of Fox Sports:
Zimmer told the prospective coaches and GMs in attendance he nearly withdrew from the Minnesota Vikings’ coaching search back in January after he lost out on another job. Zimmer didn’t name the team, though it was surely the Tennessee Titans, who hired Ken Whisenhunt as Zimmer was flying back from his second interview…
…”I almost didn’t go (on the second interview with Minnesota), yeah. I was so disappointed,” Zimmer, 57, who nabbed the Vikings job after that interview, told FOX Sports. “It was like, ‘Why even do this?’ It was to that point. I figured I was getting too old. It thought, ‘Forget this.’
“But I talked to a couple of people who said, ‘Hey, you’ve gotta go. What are you doing?’”
The Vikings have to be happy that Zimmer did have a change of heart and recover from the disappointment of missing on the one job to return for his second interview. While the Vikings might not be thrilled to learn that they were not Zimmer’s first choice, they now find themselves matched up with a fiery and motivated coach for a team that could use a kick in the rear end as they try to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season.