Skip to main content

Vikings Coaching History

2024 DIGI - Legends Hub-Headers_Coaches

Coaching History

Read a quick bio and recap of the various head coaches the Vikings have had throughout the team's history.

Norm Van Brocklin - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 18, 1961...The former quarterback had retired from the NFL following the 1960 season after 12 professional seasons with the Los Angeles Rams (1949-57) and Philadelphia Eagles (1958-60)..."The Dutchman" led the Eagles to the NFL crown in 1960 and was the League MVP...Set an NFL record with 554 passing yards in the 1951 season opener...Threw for 23,611 yards and 173 TDs in his NFL career and played in 10 Pro Bowls...Inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1971...Coached 84 games with the Vikings with a 29-51-4 record....Went on to coach the Atlanta Falcons from 1968-74...Born March 15, 1926, in Eagle Butte, South Dakota...Attended the University of Oregon where he was an All-American…Died May 2, 1983, in Social Circle, Georgia.

Bud Grant - Named Vikings Head Coach on March 10, 1967...Came to Minnesota following a successful coaching career in the Canadian Football League with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, leading the team to four Grey Cup championships and six appearances...Coached the Vikings in 281 games (including 22 playoff contests), retiring after the 1983 season only to be coaxed back to coach the team again in 1985 for one more season...Led Vikings to Super Bowl IV, VIII, IX and XI...Won 11 Central Division titles and made 12 appearances in the playoffs...An avid outdoorsman who traveled the world hunting and fishing...Member of both the CFL and Pro Football Halls of Fame...Only man to be drafted by an NBA (Minneapolis Lakers) and NFL (Philadelphia Eagles) team…Born May 20, 1927 in Superior, Wisconsin...Died March 11, 2023, in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Les Steckel - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 29, 1984...Coached the Vikings for the 1984 season, finishing 3-13...Served as an offensive assistant with the Vikings for five seasons prior to taking over head coaching duties...Came to Minnesota in 1979 after working on the San Francisco 49ers staff...Was the youngest head coach in the NFL in 1984 at age 38...Began his playing career at Kansas as a walk-on, playing four seasons for the Jayhawks as a running back...Worked for Senator Robert Kennedy's campaign as a volunteer following his 1968 graduation...Joined the Marine Corps and served as an infantry lieutenant, seeing combat in Vietnam...Left the service in 1972 and began his coaching career at Colorado, working with the Buffaloes from 1972-76, the U.S. Naval Academy in 1977 and the 49ers in 1978...Born July 1, 1946, in Whitehall, Pennsylvania.

Jerry Burns - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 7, 1986...Served as Vikings offensive coordinator from 1968-85, guiding the team to four Super Bowl berths and 11 Central Division titles...Served as Vikings head coach six seasons, 1986-91...Coached the team in 101 total games, going 52-43 in the regular season and 3-3 in the playoffs...Led the Vikings to the NFC Championship game in 1987, earning upset wins at New Orleans and San Francisco along the way before falling to the Redskins 17-10 in Washington...Won the NFC Central in 1989...Coached in six Super Bowls, four as Vikings offensive coordinator and two as the Green Bay Packers defensive backs coach in Super Bowls I and II...Played QB for Michigan on the 1950 Rose Bowl team...Began his coaching career in 1951 at University of Hawaii...Head Coach at the University of Iowa from 1961-65...Born Jan. 24, 1927, in Detroit, Michigan...Died May 12, 2021, in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.

Dennis Green - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 10, 1992...Came to Minnesota after reviving the Stanford University football program, serving as head coach from 1989-91, becoming the only Vikings head coach to come directly from the college ranks...Coached 171 total games in 10 seasons with the Vikings, leading the team to four Central Division titles and the NFC Championship Game twice...The Vikings made the playoffs in eight of Green's 10 seasons, and the 1998 club set the NFL single-season scoring record at 556 points, averaging 34.8 points per game...An advocate of community involvement, Green initiated Community Tuesdays, which had players active in the Twin Cities on their day off, a concept that spread to the entire National Football League...Named NFL Coach of the Year in 1992 by the Washington Touchdown Club and in 1998 by Sports Illustrated and the Maxwell Club…Born Feb. 17, 1949, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania...Died July 22, 2016, in San Diego, California.

Mike Tice - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 10, 2002, after serving as the team's coach for the final regular season game of the 2001 season...Became the first former Vikings player to serve as head coach...Enjoyed a 14-year NFL playing career as a tight end, including 1992-93 and 1995 with the Vikings...Played in 177 career games with Seattle, Washington and Minnesota...Originally signed by Seattle as a rookie free agent QB in 1981...Began coaching career with Minnesota Vikings as tight ends coach in 1996...Coached offensive line from 1997-2001 and added title of Assistant Head Coach in 2001…Born Feb. 2, 1959, in Bay Shore, New York.

Brad Childress - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 6, 2006...Led Vikings to consecutive NFC North titles in 2008-09...Won first game with Vikings over Washington on Monday Night Football...Joined the Vikings after seven seasons with Philadelphia, working from 2002-05 as the Eagles offensive coordinator...Helped guide Eagles to Super Bowl XXXIX appearance...Coached at University of Wisconsin from 1991-98...Got first taste of NFL coaching with Indianapolis Colts in 1985...Started coaching career at University of Illinois from 1978-84...Born June 27, 1956, and raised in Aurora, Illinois.

Leslie Frazier - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 3, 2011, after serving as interim head coach for final six games of 2010 season, going 3-3...Coached 55 total games (including one postseason game), totaling a mark of 21-33-1...Led Vikings to postseason after going 10-6 in 2012 after guiding the team to the biggest single-season turnaround in team history (seven more wins than in the previous season) and finished tied for third in Coach of the Year voting...Won first game as interim coach at Washington (Nov. 28, 2010)...Spent 2007-10 as Vikings defensive coordinator...The first Vikings head coach to come from a defensive background...Played for Division rival Chicago from 1981-86, starting at CB on Bears Super Bowl XX championship team...Joined Bears as a rookie free agent from Alcorn State in 1981...Entered NFL as assistant coach with Philadelphia in 1999...Began coaching career in 1988 at Trinity College in suburban Chicago, starting the football program from the ground up as the first coach in program history...Part of Super Bowl winner with Chicago as a player and with Indianapolis as an assistant coach...Born April 3, 1959, in Columbus, Mississippi.

Mike Zimmer - Named Vikings Head Coach on Jan. 15, 2014...Coached 134 total games (including five postseason contests), going 72-56-1 in regular seasons and 2-3 in postseason contests…Led Vikings to 13-3 mark in 2017, advancing the team to the NFC Championship Game...Earned 2015 and 2017 NFC North titles...The Vikings ranked No. 1 in the NFL in total defense in 2017...Served as a defensive coordinator for Cincinnati (2008-13), Atlanta (2007) and Dallas (2000-06) prior to his hire...Coached Cowboys DBs when Dallas won Super Bowl XXX over Pittsburgh...Had a top-7 defense in four of his final five seasons with Cincinnati...Before moving to the NFL ranks with Dallas in 1994, he spent 15 seasons coaching at the collegiate level where he spent his final five seasons as defensive coordinator at Washington State from 1989-93...Was at Weber State from 1981-88, serving as defensive coordinator from 1983-88...Entered the coaching profession at Missouri where he served as an assistant from 1979-80...Played QB and then later LB at Illinois State...He and his late wife Vikki, who passed away in 2009, raised three children: son Adam and daughters Corri and Marki. Adam coached Vikings linebackers from 2014-19 and was co-defensive coordinator from 2020-21. He passed away in 2022...Mike was born June 5, 1956, in Peoria, Illinois.

Kevin O'Connell - Named Vikings Head Coach on Feb. 16, 2022...Led Vikings to 13-4 record and NFC North title in first season…Recorded 10 and 20 victories faster than any Vikings head coach in team history…The Vikings ranked eighth in the NFL in points for and seventh in yards gained per game in 2022…Became first head coach in franchise history to start four different quarterbacks within one season (2023)…Joined Vikings after helping the 2021 Rams win Super Bowl LVI in his second season as the team's offensive coordinator…Launched NFL coaching career with Cleveland as Browns quarterbacks coach in 2015…Worked on special projects for San Francisco in 2016 before joining Washington as quarterbacks coach (2017-18) and offensive coordinator (2019)…After playing QB collegiately at San Diego State (2004-07), was drafted by New England in third round of the 2008 NFL Draft…Also had stints with the Lions, Jets, Dolphins and Chargers, retiring in 2012...Has four children, two sons and two daughters…Born May 25, 1985, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and raised in Southern California.