Suddenly a Busy Man, Mike Zimmer Has Another New Gig

Suddenly a Busy Man, Mike Zimmer Has Another New Gig
Nov 21, 2021; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer looks on prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports.

Mike Zimmer suddenly became a busy man.

Hall of Famer and Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders announced Tuesday that Zimmer would join the school as an analyst.

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The Jackson State news arrived a week after Zimmer surprisingly showed up at the Cincinnati Bengals training camp. Zimmer’s son, Adam, who was the Vikings 2021 co-defensive coordinator, is now an offensive analyst for the Bengals.

And at some point this summer, Zimmer joined the think-tank NFL analysis website — also as an analyst — where former Minnesota Vikings general manager Rick Spielman is also employed.

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The “suddenly busy” part is compared to the last seven months. The Vikings fired Zimmer and Spielman on the same day in January after the team missed the playoffs in back-to-back seasons. From that day until Zimmer surfaced on The 33rd Team, it was all quiet on Zimmer’s front.

But now the ex-Vikings skipper is back, aiding Jackson State’s continued journey to success. The Tigers finished 11-2 in 2021, Sanders’ second season in charge. The 11-2 record was good enough for a SWAC East division crown.

With the Vikings, Zimmer led the franchise to a 74-59-1 (.562) record, the 10th-best in the NFL on his watch. The Zimmer Vikings also reached the postseason thrice in eight tries, winning two playoff games, and reaching the 2017 NFC Championship. Per defensive EPA/Play, an efficiency metric, Minnesota ranked fourth in the NFL on defense from 2014 to 2019 — probably why Sanders picked up the phone to bring Zimmer to Mississippi.

Zimmer said about the Jackson State job on Thee Pregame Show, “[Deion] asked me about it a few times. The pay’s not good. But I do love Deion, and I’d do anything for him.”

Sanders played for the Dallas Cowboys from 1995 to 1999, where Zimmer was his defensive backs coach, evidently igniting a lifelong friendship.

Zimmer turned 66 in June.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).