Beloved Ex-Vikings QB Hangs Up the Cleats & Grabs a Coach’s Whistle

Former Vikings QB
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

If things don’t work out in the NFL, maybe Mike Zimmer will become Teddy Bridgewater’s defensive coordinator. After all, Zim has already down some work for Coach Prime, so maybe the news about a different former player will lead to another opportunity.

Andy Villamarzo broke the news about the ex-Vikings QB: “Teddy Bridgewater named next head coach at Miami Northwestern.” In 2023, Bridgewater was the backup QB in Detroit, helping the Lions venture into the NFC Championship Game. The season’s end brought his retirement from the NFL. Clearly, though, he’s looking to stay involved in the game, leading to him becoming a high school coach.

Teddy Bridgewater, The Ex-Vikings QB, Becomes a High School Head Coach

ESPN’s Jordan Reid celebrated the new opportunity for the journeyman quarterback, writing, “Retires and immediately becomes the head coach at his alma mater. One of the easiest guys to root for. Congrats, Teddy!”

Reid isn’t alone in sending along well wishes to Bridgewater.

NFL: Preseason-Oakland Raiders at Minnesota Vikings
Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) and Oakland Raiders quarterback Christian Ponder (9) talk after the game at TCF Bank Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Oakland Raiders 20-12. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Sleeper NFL sent out their approval: “You love to see it.” Courtney Cronin similarly offered her support: “This is awesome. Teddy Bridgewater is one of best guys out there. Straight out of NFL retirement and back to his alma mater as Miami Northwestern’s next head football coach. Those kids are lucky to have him.”

The examples abound. People around the NFL love Teddy Bridgewater, and for good reason. He’s a tremendous leader and teammate. He’s incredibly charming and has a ton of football knowledge. He faced brutal injury adversity and just kept working. Gotta respect him, folks.

Oct 20, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) greets fans after the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Originally, he entered the NFL as a 1st-round selection by the Minnesota Vikings back in 2014. He and Anthony Barr were the young cornerstone players for Mike Zimmer to build around. For a time, Bridgewater was supposed to be the franchise QB, but the aforementioned injury alongside Rick Spielman’s blockbuster trade for Sam Bradford changed his career trajectory.

The QB went on to play for the Saints, Panthers, Broncos, Dolphins, and Lions. So, a journeyman following his time with the Vikings. All of that experience will serve him well as a coach since he’ll be able to draw on a vast array of influences to construct his own coaching philosophy, scheme, and play calls.

Nov 23, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer shakes hands with quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) before the game against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Still only 31, Bridgewater can hopefully put together a long and successful coaching career. His NFL career ends with a 66.4 completion percentage, 15,120 passing yards, 75 TD passes, and 47 INTs. His career QB record sits at 33-32.

Arguably his best season was back in 2015 when he started the full season for the Vikings, leading them to an 11-5 record and playoff exit following the Blair Walsh miss.

Everyone at PurplePTSD sends along their congratulations to Mr. Bridgewater for both his retirement and new coaching opportunity. Best of luck, Teddy Two Gloves.

Editor’s Note: Information from Pro Football Reference helped with this piece.

K. Joudry is the Senior Editor for Vikings Territory and PurplePTSD. He has been covering the Vikings full time since the summer of 2021. He can be found on Twitter and as a co-host for Notes from the North, a humble Vikings podcast.