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Mike Zimmer: Wikis


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Mike Zimmer (born June 5, 1956 in Peoria, Illinois) is the Defensive Coordinator for the National Football League's Cincinnati Bengals. He is the son of former NFL player Bill Zimmer and the father of Adam Zimmer, the Defensive Assistant/Linebackers for the NFL's New Orleans Saints.[1]


Playing career

In high school, Zimmer was a successful multi-sport athlete who earned all-conference honors in football (1972-73), baseball, and wrestling at Lockport Township High School. He enrolled at Illinois State University with a major in physical education and played as a quarterback (1974) before being redshirted (1975) and moved to linebacker after suffering a broken thumb (1976). A neck injury ended his football career that year.

Coaching career

His first coaching job was as a part-time defensive assistant at the University of Missouri (1979-80). He then went to Weber State College, where he was the inside linebackers coach (1981-84), defensive backs coach (1985-88), and defensive coordinator (1983-88). He then went to Washington State University (1989-93) as the defensive coordinator and secondary coach. In 1993, the Cougars finished eighth in the nation in total defense and second in rushing defense.

He joined the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 as an assistant coach of the nickel defense under Barry Switzer. He was promoted to defensive backs coach (1995-99) before being promoted to defensive coordinator in 2000. The 2004 Dallas Cowboys gave up the fewest yards in the NFL while running an aggressive speedy 4-3 defense. Despite the Cowboys' problems over the years, Zimmer has survived coaching changes (Switzer, Chan Gailey, Dave Campo, Bill Parcells) and rumored to have been a candidate for the head coaching job at the University of Nebraska (2003). For the 2005 season, he implemented the 3-4 defense favored by head coach Parcells, although Zimmer had no prior experience with it.

When Bobby Petrino was hired to coach the Atlanta Falcons early in 2007, Mike Zimmer agreed to become the new defensive coordinator in Atlanta.

On January 15th, 2008 Mike became the Defensive Coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals.

His wife, Vikki, died at their home on October 8, 2009. Three days later Zimmer was awarded the game ball by head coach Marvin Lewis after the team's 17-14 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.


External links

Preceded by
Dave Campo
Dallas Cowboys defensive coordinator
Succeeded by
Brian Stewart
Preceded by
Atlanta Falcons defensive coordinator
Succeeded by
Brian VanGorder
Preceded by
Chuck Bresnahan
Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator
Succeeded by




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