Mike Zimmer addresses retirement rumors: 'I don't have any doubts I can go to 70'
Mike Zimmer has enjoyed a successful stint as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, but the head coach is facing intense pressure to bring the franchise its first championship. A product of the expectations he’s created. Zimmer could be facing a make-or-break season if the Vikings fail to reach the playoffs. Even if his tenure is up in Minnesota, the 62-year Zimmer has no plans on retiring from head coaching. If Zimmer had it his way, he’ll be with the Vikings for eight more years.
“You know what? I still feel young, I look young. I haven’t really thought about retirement honestly,” Zimmer said to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. “I’m 62 now. I mean, I don’t have any doubts I can go to 70.”
Heading into the season, the Vikings had the NFC’s best record (40-23-1) over the past four years, but failed to reach the Super Bowl. They made the NFC Championship Game two seasons ago, but lost 38-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles in embarrassing fashion. Minnesota missed the playoffs last season, needing a win over the Chicago Bears (who had nothing to play for in regards to playoff seeding) in Week 17 to make the postseason.
The Vikings are still one of the contenders in the NFC thanks to Zimmer, who has spent 26 seasons as am NFL coach. Zimmer earned his first opportunity as an assistant coach with the Dallas Cowboys in 1994 before being promoted to defensive backs coach the next season and defensive coordinator in 2000. He spent the 2007 season as defensive coordinator with the Atlanta Falcons and the 2008 to 2013 seasons as defensive coordinator with the Cincinnati Bengals before earning the head coach job with the Vikings in 2014.
One of the best defensive minds in the NFL, Zimmer has coached a top-ten scoring defense in eight of his last nine seasons, including the No. 1 scoring defense in 2017. The Vikings led the NFL in takeaways in 2018, another indication Zimmer is still at the top of his game.
No wonder why Zimmer isn’t ready to move on from the NFL just yet.