EAGAN, Minn. – The NFL announced Tuesday that Vikings linebackers coach Adam Zimmer has been selected as one of the head coaches of the 94th East-West Shrine Game.
Zimmer will coach the West team composed of college all-stars. On the other side of the field, Panthers defensive line coach Sam Mills III will coach the East.
The 2018 season marked Zimmer’s 13th in the NFL and fifth with the Vikings under Head Coach Mike Zimmer, Adam’s father. In 2017, Zimmer’s unit – led by leading tackler Eric Kendricks and four-time Pro Bowler Anthony Barr – contributed to a defense that led the league in both total defense and scoring defense. The Vikings finished fourth and ninth, respectively, in 2018.
Prior to joining the Vikings staff, Zimmer spent time with the Cincinnati Bengals (2013), Kansas City Chiefs (2010-12) and New Orleans Saints (2006-09).
“We have a terrific partnership with the NFL that has once again yielded two outstanding head coaches,” said Harold Richardson, executive director of the East-West Shrine Game. “Sam Mills III and Adam Zimmer are excellent teachers who will enjoy this opportunity and no doubt be tremendous examples for our players as they prepare to launch their NFL careers.”
Zimmer and Mills III were nominated for the duties and selected after a review by a panel that includes NFL Operations staff, East-West Shrine Game leadership and two members of the NFL’s General Managers Advisory Committee.
Both will be able to fill their 12-person staffs from among other NFL assistant coaches nominated by the clubs. The NFL also provides game officials for the contest.
This is the third year that the coaching staffs for the game that originated in 1925 have been selected from NFL coaches.
In 2017, Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards was selected as the head coach for the West team. Included on his staff that January were Vikings coaches Kevin Stefanski (interim offensive coordinator) and Andrew Janocko (co-offensive line).
The annual all-star game will kick off at 2 p.m. (CT) on Saturday, Jan. 19 in St. Petersburg, Florida. It will be televised live on NFL Network.