Eden Prairie, MN (January 3, 2011) - The Minnesota Vikings and Leslie Frazier have reached an agreement that will remove the interim tag from Frazier’s title and make him the eighth head coach in franchise history.
Frazier’s hiring follows his appointment as the team’s interim head coach for the final six games of the 2010 season. Under Frazier, the Vikings finished 3-3, including 2-1 on the road after losing the previous nine consecutive away games.
Even more notable than the wins was Frazier’s consistent composure and steady guidance during the tumultuous final four weeks of the season. In that time the Vikings were forced to play home games at Detroit’s Ford Field and the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium following the roof collapse at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome in early December. Frazier also led the Vikings to an upset victory against the NFC East Champion Philadelphia Eagles last week after a winter snow storm forced the Vikings to spend three nights in a Philadelphia hotel.
“We are very excited to announce Leslie Frazier as the new Head Coach of the Minnesota Vikings,” said Vikings Owner/President Mark Wilf. “Leslie is well-respected by our players, coaches and front office staff and has proven to be a winner on the field at every level of playing and coaching. He has a strong presence in the locker room and is an excellent leader, as demonstrated during some of the recent challenges we have faced.”
Prior to being named interim head coach, Frazier served as the Vikings defensive coordinator from 2007-10, adding Assistant Head Coach to his title in 2008. His defensive units have ranked in the top 10 in each of the last three seasons (#6 in 2008, #6 in 2009 and #8 in 2010) while notching 162 sacks from 2007-10 (40.5 avg. per season), the 5th-most of any NFL team during that time. Under Frazier, the Vikings defense allowed the 2nd-fewest rushing yards per game (85.1 avg.) and the 9th-fewest points per game (20.4 avg.) in the NFL over the last four years.
“We are thrilled that Leslie Frazier will continue to lead this football team,” said Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf. “Our players and entire organization have great respect for Leslie. He has a vast knowledge of the game, both as a former player and as a coach, and he has a terrific way with those who play for him and work with him. We are very fortunate to have him as our Head Coach and look forward to many successful years together.”
Frazier has a total of 18 years in the NFL – 12 as a coach and six as a player – and has won Super Bowl titles in both roles. His first title came as a starting cornerback with the 1985 Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX, and he later won Super Bowl XLI as a defensive backs coach with the Indianapolis Colts. In his 12 NFL seasons and 11 years of collegiate coaching experience, Frazier has suffered losing seasons only twice. Over the last 12 years, he has coached on seven playoff teams and has been a part of six division championships.
“I could not have asked for a better opportunity in the National Football League,” said Frazier. “The Wilf family has continually shown dedication to building a world-class football organization and is a tremendous family to work with as we try to create and sustain a Championship-caliber team. I have a deep respect for our players and those within the organization that I have gotten to know over the last four years and I am very happy to lead our football team moving forward.”
As well as Frazier is known for his coaching abilities, he is also recognized for his community involvement off the field. He works closely 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, and he and his wife, Gale, continue to be involved in the Vikings community efforts.