On Monday, Mike Zimmer was fired for the first time in his long football career. He spent eight seasons as the Vikings head coach, going 72-56-1 with three postseason appearances.
Zimmer released a statement Monday afternoon.
“We have had great sponsors and met so many great people, including my relationship with Bud Grant and all the people in the offices,” Zimmer said, via Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press. “I have given my heart and soul to this organization and to the players. I have had outstanding assistant coaches who have worked tirelessly. I’m sorry we didn’t get it done. The fans make this place truly special. On Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium, it’s an unbelievable atmosphere. I’ll miss coaching the players, some who have been with me for all eight years. I want to thank the players who welcomed me in 2014 and believed in me that I could lead them to be great.”
Zimmer, 65, got the Vikings as close as the NFC Championship Game, but they have missed the playoffs the past two seasons.
Owner and president Mark Wilf said, in announcing the departures of Zimmer and General Manager Rick Spielman, that the Vikings’ goal is “to consistently contend and win championships.”