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Interim No More: Vikings Hire Frazier

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 3, 2011 – 2:53 pm

For most of his tenure with the Vikings, Leslie Frazier has had a long title. It started as defensive coordinator, which isn’t so long, but was modified to assistant head coach/defensive coordinator following his promotion in 2008. Then following Brad Childress’ dismissal in November, Frazier’s title changed to interim head coach.

Now, it’s a lot shorter. And better.

Frazier is now Vikings Head Coach after he and the Vikings reached an agreement that makes him the 8th head coach in franchise history. Frazier is a 23-year coaching veteran – 12 at the NFL level – and he takes the reins of the team after serving as defensive coordinator from 2007-2010.

Frazier got a head start in his new role when the Vikings named him interim head coach on November 22. The Vikings went 3-3 with Frazier as the interim boss (including 2-1 on the road after losing the previous 9 consecutive away games), but more notable than the record was the grace with which Frazier guided the organization through a tumultuous month of December that saw the Mall of America Field at the Metrodome roof collapse, a home game moved to Detroit, another home game moved to TCF Bank Stadium and then a 3-day postponement in Philadelphia due to a severe winter storm over the Christmas Holiday.

Considering how well the organization and team operated through that stretch of adversity, Vikings owners Zygi, Mark and Lenny Wilf, as well as the entire ownership group and organization, are anxious to watch their new head coach in action under regular circumstances.

Frazier has a broad and complete perspective on the NFL, having served as botha player, an assistant coach and an (interim) head coach. He was a DB for the Chicago Bears from 1981-86, including on the 1985 Bears Super Bowl-winning team. He also won a Super Bowl as an assistant coach with the Indianapolis Colts following the 2006 season.

A man of great faith with a level-headed approach to coaching, Frazier is often compared to his former boss in Indianapolis – former Colts Head Coach Tony Dungy. Frazier embraces that comparison and will undoubtedly look to apply those traits to his new job in Minnesota. But Frazier will also draw upon his experiences in Minnesota since 2007 to aide him in building his program with the Vikings.

Frazier’s defense led the NFL in 2009 with 48 sacks and the team entered the 2010 season ranked 3rd in the NFL with 131 sacks. The Vikings defense ranked #6 in the NFL in 2009 and also had a top-10 ranking in 2010, marking the first time the Vikings have boasted a top 10-ranked defense in 3 consecutive seasons since 1992-94.

In 4 full seasons as defensive coordinator, Frazier has helped his players achieve at a high individual level as well, with 5 players earning NFC Defensive Player of the Week honors and 5 players also earning 10 different Pro Bowl berths.

Frazier came to Minnesota after coaching DBs with Indianapolis and serving as Special Assistant to Dungy for 2 seasons. The 2006 Colts defense clamped down on opponents throughout the playoff run that brought the franchise its first Super Bowl title since 1970. The team notched 7 INTs, 8 sacks and took away 6 fumbles. The Indianapolis defense allowed only 2 second-half TDs in the 4 postseason games and held the Bears out of the endzone for the final 3 quarters of Super Bowl XLI en route to the win.

Prior to his tenure in Indianapolis, Frazier served as defensive coordinator with Cincinnati in 2003 and 2004 and his NFL coach debut game in Philadelphia from 1999-2002 as an Eagles DBs coach.

Prior to coaching on the NFL sidelines, Frazier spent 11 seasons at the collegiate level. In 1997 and 1998, he worked with DBs at the University of Illinois and before that he built the Trinity International University football program from the ground up, starting the program in 1988 and winning 2 Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles before leaving in 1996.

As a player, Frazier was part of the legendary Bears defense that keyed the Super Bowl XX win over New England. He was a starter at CB on the ‘85 Super Bowl-winning club and led the team in INTs from 1983-85. His career was cut short with a severe knee injury suffered in the Super Bowl. During his career, Frazier had 20 INTs in 65 games played and returned a pair of those picks for TDs.

Frazier was born in Columbus, MS and has a degree in business administration. He was active in Fellowship of Christian Athletes throughout his playing career and currently works with All-Pro Dad, an organization that stresses the importance of fathers taking an active role in the lives of their children and putting family first.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 27 Comments »


27 Responses to “Interim No More: Vikings Hire Frazier”

  1. By Ham on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Fire Childress

  2. By Shawn on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Cant wait to see frazier build his staff….

  3. By Ricefield on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats Coach! Way to go Wilfs.

  4. By PurpleNation on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s wait and see if he can also do some tweaking to the roster for the better!

  5. By Shawn on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    who will be OC and DC?

    so much anticipation … coach no celebrating no time for dinner with the family today lol … i need staff updates =)

  6. By vikesuck on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    First thing he needs to do is convince Favre to play one more year.

  7. By Ricefield on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Shawn,

    Maybe we’ll get some details in the Presser. Can’t wait either.

  8. By PurpleParody on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    His first year is going to say a lot about his character. Will he try to repair the holes in the team or will he attempt to rebuild it? It would be nice to return to playoff contenders next year, but I hope he doesn’t lose sight of the team in the long run either. It’ll be a delicate balance, and I hope he’s up for the challenge.

  9. By Mookie on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Congratulations Coach Frazier! I have a feeling that you will do a terrific job for the Vikings! Best of luck!

  10. By KeybotheViking on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    I was not so sure about this move until yesterday and I thought (as I was watching my Vikings get beat by the Lions), “maybe this guy does deserve a chance to show the NFL that he is legit and we should be the team that gives him that chance!” This all in hopes that he turns out to be the next “great coach” and he keep him around for a while!! (fingers crossed) But like one of you others said, I am very interested to see what he does to our team and our coaching staff. SKOL VIKES!

  11. By CaribooBill on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Congratulations COACH! I believe that you will be a very good coach and I hope you stay for 20 years, at least. Successful teams seem to have continuity at all levels and a long term plan for the team. I am looking forward to seeing you bring your ideas and methods to fruition with our Vikings. GO VIKES!!!

  12. By vikes blogger on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    http://www.cole-wolvesvikingsblog.blogspot.com/, see what lies ahead for the vikings, and what this past year has looked like

  13. By mr smiff on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Good for you, Frazier. Now it’s time to destroy and rebuild. Start with the coaching staff, and then the team.

  14. By Titus on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Frazier is a class act– a man of faith and integrity. Congratulations for a deserving promotion. I know with the power within you will have insight and wisdom to take this team to the Superbowl.

  15. By PAUL M. on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    OK FIRST THINGS FIRST. CONGRATULATIONS TO LESLIE.

    ALL I CAN SAY IS “PROVE ME WRONG LESLIE”! THAT IS, FOR WHAT I SAY NEXT.

  16. By PAUL M. on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    THERE ARE THE “KNOWN GREATS” & THE “QUESTION MARKS” LIKE DENNIS GREEN OR CHILDRESS OR, YES, LESLIE FRAZIER. I DON’T WANT US TO KEEP HIRING THE QUESTION MARKS.

    NO MORE GAMBLING WITH VIKINGS TEAMS THAT SHOULD HAVE WON CHAMPIONSHIPS! NO MORE WASTING ENTIRE DECADES!

  17. By PAUL M. on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    IT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH FOR OWNERSHIP TO HAVE PRESENTED US WITH A TOP END “FERRARI OF A TEAM” FOR THE LAST 2 SEASONS. WE ALSO DESERVE A CHAMPIONSHIP CALIPER DRIVER WHO IS FIT TO DRIVE IT — AND FOR THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEASON, CHILDRESS, BEVEL & YES FRAZIER TOO, WERE DRIVING LIKE MY GRANDMA.

    AGAIN MY SIMPLE FORMULA FOR ANY HEAD COACH? SIMPLY PUT OUT A PRODUCT ON THE FIELD OF AT LEAST EQUAL TO OR GREATER QUALITY THAN THE TEAM YOU HAVE ON PAPER (INJURIES EXCEPTED).

  18. By PAUL M. on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    AGAIN, I SINCERELY HOPE THAT YOU PROVE ME WRONG LESLIE, BUT I DON’T RECALL OUR DEFENSE DOING SO WELL DURING THE FIRST HALF OF THIS SEASON!

    AS I’VE POSTED BEFORE: THE PLAYERS COME & GO. OUR COACHES COME & GO. EVEN OWNERSHIP COMES & GOES. THE ONLY ONES WHO STAY ARE US – THE FANS. POWER TO THE MINNESOTA VIKINGS FANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. By PurpleParody on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    @Paul – Turn off the Caps Lock. It annoys us all.

  20. By PAUL M. on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    I’M SORRY TO SAY THAT TODAY WAS THE WRONG MOVE.

    I WOULD HAVE LOVED TO HAVE FISHER, COWHER, TONY DUNGY, BRIAN BILLICK –OR EVEN GRUDEN (NICE NORDIC NAME ASIDE) COACH OUR TEAM NEXT SEASON.

    WE SHOULDN’T BE A TRAINING FACILITY FOR HEAD COACHES!

  21. By Bigfan1 on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Congratulations to Leslie Frazier and the whole Vikings organization for the right decision, a win-win. A man who knows the Vikings, won a national championship as a player and coach, the players respect him and like playing for him, and Mr. Frazier is passionate about the job and turning the Vikings into Super Bowl champions.

  22. By Robins on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Good luck Coach Frazier! Get us back to beating the packers and winning like last year. That was a blast to watch! Have Brett coach Joe Webb. Get rid of Jackson. Get an oline that protects the quarterback so he can throw the ball and doesn’t get clobbered. Get rid of the losers that don’t do their job. Good luck! We will be watching and cheering for you and your Vikings!

  23. By Frederick Jones on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    FOCUS : :) :) :) :) :)

    sign OFFENSIVE LINE MEN

  24. By Sue G Vikes 4 Ever on Jan 3, 2011 | Reply

    Frederick…I totally agree with you. We can’t put a rookie (or Webb) behind our current o-line….We need to draft or pick up some free agents…badly

  25. By Bleeding Purple on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Congrats to the new coach I cant wait to see what you can do

  26. By Curtis Givens on Jan 4, 2011 | Reply

    Leslie Frazier is not one of us. Ziggy Wilf is not one of us. Why wouldn’t you wait at least a week to see if someone like Jeff Fischer came available? No! Way to go Ziggy! Give a 3 year contract to someone who sat by, leading the defense to a whopping 6 sacks in 10 games. All Frazier did was watch the ship sink so he could be handed the keys to a sunken ship. And then all of a sudden he pulled a blitz package out of….where? Oh yeah a 3-3 record. WOW! Ziggy Wilf why don’t you take all the money you made from the Brett Favre jerseys and get out of our state. Bring back Bud Grant. At least then we will know our Vikings will show up for every game. SKOL!

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