Adam “Pacman” Jones, one of the stars of Zimmer’s Bengals defense, tweeted: “I told you’ll Zimm would be the Head Coach, that was a good move for the Vikings congrats to coach !!!”
Vikings center John Sullivan tweeted: “Very excited to play for coach Zimmer and to see the staff that he puts together. #skolvikings”
Hall of Famer and now broadcaster Deion Sanders tweeted: “Congrats to my dear friend and 1 of the best coaches I’ve EVER had Mike Zimmer!!! Well deserved and God bless. Truth”
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph tweeted: “Fired up about Coach Zimmer! As a Cincy kid he’s been fun to watch there and can’t wait to work with him! Welcome to the @Vikings!”
“Seems like the Bengals went far this year in the playoffs, and he called good plays on defense,” said defensive end Everson Griffen, who will be a free agent but hopes to re-sign with the Vikings. “Haven’t heard too much about him, but I can tell you that the way the Bengals play defense, the way they attack the ball and some of the things I’ve heard from guys around the league on his mentality, his style and aggression, it seems like a good fit for the Minnesota Vikings.”
Zimmer played quarterback and linebacker at Illinois State. He then coached on the defensive side at the collegiate level for 15 years at Missouri, Weber State and Washington State before joining the Dallas Cowboys as secondary coach.
He was a multisport athlete in high school and college. He played football and baseball at Illinois State; a neck injury ended his football career but he continued to play catcher for the Redbirds.
His high school, Lockport Township High School near Chicago, is also the alma mater of former Twins’ player Ron Coomer and Alando Tucker, who was briefly with the Timberwolves in 2009-10.