VIkings make hiring of Mike Zimmer official

AP

The Vikings officially announced the hiring of Mike Zimmer as head coach on Wednesday night.

Zimmer, 57, had been the Bengals’ defensive coordinator the previous six seasons. News of his hire had surfaced earlier on Wednesday.

“We are excited to welcome Mike as the new leader of the Minnesota Vikings,” Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said in a statement issued by the team. “He has a proven track record of success at every stop in the NFL and we look forward to him maintaining that consistency here in Minnesota.”

This is Zimmer’s first head coaching job on the NFL or collegiate level, but his work with Cincinnati’s defense played to rave reviews.

“I’m grateful to the Wilf family, [G.M.] Rick Spielman and the entire Vikings organization for giving me an opportunity to join a franchise with such a strong tradition and an extremely passionate fan base,” Zimmer said, according to the Vikings. “I believe in a disciplined and physical brand of football and I look forward to getting to work on leading a team capable of long-term success.”

The Bengals are expected to promote linebackers coach Paul Guenther to replace Zimmer as defensive coordinator.