Rand: Burns at top, Steckel at bottom in Vikings coaching likability list

  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 7:08 AM
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Jerry Burns, left, had a personality that made him likable when he was the Vikings coach; Brad Childress didn’t.

Photo: File photo by BRUCE BISPING • bbisping@startribune.com,

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Mike Zimmer hasn’t even had his first news conference in Minnesota, and already he’s winning the battle of public opinion. In a startribune.com poll, 84 percent of respondents said they either “love” or “like” his hire as the new Vikings coach. ¶ Of course, it doesn’t really matter where you start. What matters is where you finish. As such, here is a ranking of the six Vikings coaches who preceded Zimmer but came after Bud Grant (the first time) in terms of where they wound up in franchise likability lore.

 

6) Les Steckel: This one is pretty easy. Steckel lasted just one disastrous season with the Vikings, going 3-13 and becoming synonymous locally with failure. Steckel ran his team like a drill sergeant, which is a tough way to go as a 38-year-old, first-time head coach.

5) Brad Childress: Though his teams steadily improved from 2006 to ’09, gaining two wins each season, Childress never connected with the Vikings fanbase. His jargon-filled news conferences were a constant source of derision, and the disastrous 2010 season that spelled his demise as head coach sealed his fate in the court of public opinion.

4) Dennis Green: This is the toughest one to gauge. People generally remember Green as a good coach who presided over eight playoff seasons during his 10 years with the Vikings — an impressive stretch of success. But his style wore thin with fans, and being associated with Taking a Knee as well as 41-Donut does not help.

3) Leslie Frazier: Less success than Childress or Green, but generally liked by fans. Some thought Frazier took the fall for problems he did not create, and most fans agreed he was classy to the end.

2) Mike Tice: A lovable lug whose tenure looks better in retrospect. He could be maddening with the challenge flag, but his honesty won him a lot of ardent supporters. He also had a winning record in his final season (9-7 in 2005), something no other Vikings coach can claim.

1) Jerry Burns: A players’ coach who was crusty, went on epic rants and who led a group of overachievers to the brink of a Super Bowl berth. What’s not to love about Burnsie?

michael rand

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Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 30 3rd Qtr 7:20
Dallas 10
Seattle 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 7:00 PM
Nashville
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Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
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Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 69 2nd Half 8:36
Indiana State 44
Cal State Fullerton 26 1st Half 3:48
Wright State 29
Western Ky 12 1st Half 10:27
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UCLA 6:00 PM
North Carolina
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Long Beach State 7:30 PM
Western Mich
Stephen F Austin 8:00 PM
Prairie View
UAB 8:30 PM
Florida
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Mercer
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Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
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Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
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Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
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Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
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New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
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Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
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Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
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Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
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BYU-Hawaii 25
Charlotte 26 1st Half 2:02
Montana 26
Illinois 23 1st Half 5:06
(9) Kentucky 30
Central Michigan 7:00 PM
Richmond
Oklahoma 7:15 PM
South Florida
Princeton 7:30 PM
Wake Forest
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