The Minnesota Vikings made the move to fire Mike Zimmer on Monday morning, one day after the team's season finale against the Chicago Bears. After eight seasons and an overall record well over .500, the longtime franchise head coach is out and the Vikings will turn the page to the next chapter.
Minnesota made the decision official with an announcement early on Monday morning. Zimmer took until much later to address the news, but eventually commented on his firing in the early evening.
In his message, he thanked the Vikings fanbase and apologized for not leading the franchise to more success.
"I want to thank you for your support over these eight years. I've grown to love the people of Minnesota, it has become our home..." Zimmer said in a statement,
Statement from former #Vikings coach Mike Zimmer, who was relieved of his duties this morning: “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.” pic.twitter.com/wPOjJ1yKnX
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) January 10, 2022
">via NFL Network's Tom Pelissero.
"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."
Although he was never able to bring the Vikings to the top of the mountain, Zimmer did accomplish quite a bit in Minnesota. He made the playoffs in three of his eight seasons at the helm, which included a trip to the NFC Championship Game after the 2017 season. He ended his first head coaching stint with a 72-56-1 record.
However, the Vikings mired in mediocrity for most of Zimmer's tenure. Minnesota has struggled to join the NFC's elite over the last eight years, often finishing around .500 and winning just two playoff games.
The Vikings closed the 2021 season on Sunday with an 8-9 record, missing the playoffs for the second straight year.
Minnesota also fired general manager Rick Spielman on Monday, indicating that full regime change is in the works.