It took way too long for Mike Zimmer to get a head coaching gig in the NFL, but now that he is firmly planted as the main man in Minnesota, it is clear they have the right guy for the job. The 62-year old Zimmer began his coaching career as a 24-year old assistant at Missouri, before heading to Weber State from 1981-88.
After Weber State, Zimmer began to get defensive coordinator jobs, with his first coming at Washington State. He would enter the NFL for the 1994 season as the defensive backs coach for the Dallas Cowboys, winning a Super Bowl, and building a reputation for being an incredible defensive mind.
In 2000, the Cowboys promoted him to defensive coordinator, and he held that role until heading to Atlanta in the same capacity in 2007. From there, Zimmer would become a mainstay on Marvin Lewis’ staff in Cincinnati, where he was the defensive coordinator up until getting the Vikings head coaching job in 2014.
In his five years as the head coach in Minnesota, Zimmer has led the Vikings to two NFC North titles, as well as a berth in the NFC Championship Game two years ago. He had to work through injuries, and new quarterback in Kirk Cousins last season, but the Vikings have the talent to once again be a force in the NFC in 2019.