Comparing Zimmer with his Eight Predecessors
The Vikings are currently considering the extension of Coach Zimmer’s contract. Is this a good move? Let’s compare him to the other Vikings coaches and legends. How does Zimmer compare to the eight Viking’s head coaches of the past?
The Bad: Norm Van Brocklin had 29 wins and 51 losses with 4 ties in his six seasons with the Vikings and he traded Fran Tarkenton to the New York Giants, so that’s about enough of him. Les Steckel was 3-13 in his one year as head coach and toward the end of that season many Viking’s fan signs popped up at the stadium saying “Less Steckel!” Leslie Frazier was 21-32-1 in his four seasons and has a similar winning percentage to Van Brocklin. So far in comparison, Zimmer is a football god.
The Mediocre: The affable Mike Tice was just one game short of an even record during his six seasons as head coach. Brad Childress didn’t do much better in his five years. He did win two NFC North Titles and almost went to a Super Bowl with Bret Favre, but his won-loss record was a mediocre 39-35. Both coaches have a win percentage that hovers at about 50 percent, Tice slightly below at 49 percent, and Childress at 52 percent. Zimmer is much better than both of these coaches.
The Good: Jerry Burns in his six seasons with the Vikings was 52 and 43, which is about a 55 percent win record. He won an NFC Central Title and was 3 and 3 in the playoffs knocking off some really good teams at the time. Burnsie came within one dropped pass in the end zone from going to a Super Bowl. He was a good coach. However as good as Burns was, Zimmer has proven to be better.
The Best: In his eighteen seasons Bud Grant was 250-160 with 5 ties. He won 11 NFC Central Titles, 1 NFL Championship, and went to 4 Super Bowls. His winning percentage was about 60 percent. He is also in the NFL Hall of Fame.
Denny Green in his ten seasons was 97-62 and won 4 NFC Central Titles. He also made the playoffs eight of his ten years and was one failed field goal from a Super Bowl. His winning percentage, like Grant, was also about 60 percent.
Zimmer: In regular games over his six seasons with the team Zimmer has 57 wins, 38 losses, and a tie. Like both Grant and Green, he has won about 60 percent of his games. He only has one losing season and has made three playoff appearances. He has won the NFC North title twice and was a game away from the Super Bowl.
Zimmer’s win percentage is comparable to the two best and is in excellent company with Grant and Green. He is a proven commodity and works well with Spielman and the front office. The fans and players love him. At 63 years old he has plenty of seasons ahead of him to give to this team. Mike Zimmer is one of the best coaches the Vikings have had, he should be extended