By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Minnesota Vikings cleaned house. The team fired its general manager Rick Spielman and head coach Mike Zimmer.
Spielman had been the team’s GM since the 2006 season. He had hired Zimmer before the 2014 season.
As the head coach, Zimmer went 72-56-1 with the team. The Vikings went 2-3 in the playoffs under his leadership.
“This morning we met with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer to notify them we will be moving in a different direction at the general manager and head coach positions in 2022,” Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf and Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf said in a statement. “We appreciate Rick and Mike’s commitment to the team’s on-field success, their passion for making a positive impact in our community and their dedication to players, coaches and staff. While these decisions are not easy, we believe it is time for new leadership to elevate our team so we can consistently contend for championships. We wish both Rick and Mike and their families only the best.
“Our comprehensive search for a new general manager and head coach will begin immediately and will be led internally. We are determined to have sustained success and bring Vikings fans the Super Bowl championships they expect and deserve.”
Zimmer has gone 15-18 in his last two seasons with the team. The 65-year-old last had a winning record with the team during the 2019 season when he guided the team to a 10-6 record.
The Vikings ended their season with a win over the Chicago Bears to give Zimmer a win before his departure. Minnesota won their season finale with a 31-17 win over the Bears.
Spielman came to the franchise in 2006 as their Director of Player Personnel. He then was promoted to the team’s GM before the 2012 season.
“I want to thank you for your support over these eight years,” Zimmer said in a statement. “I’ve grown to love the people of Minnesota, it has become our home. You have been tremendous to my foundation and helping the kids of Minnesota. We have had great sponsors and met so many great people, including my relationship with Bud Grant and all the people in the offices.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.”
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