Reusse: Zimmer's parents have supported him through thick and thin

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 16, 2014 - 7:06 AM
hide

Cincinnati Bengals' defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer works with cornerback Leon Hall (29) during practice at NFL football training camp, Friday, Aug. 5, 2011 in Georgetown, Ky. (AP Photo/Al Behrman) ORG XMIT: NYEOTK

Ann Zimmer had a text on her phone when she woke up on Wednesday morning in Naples, Fla. It read: “I’m the ninth head coach for the Vikings.”

The transmission ended a decade-long wait for the Zimmers to hear that the efforts of their son Mike had been rewarded with an opportunity to run the on-field operation for an NFL team.

“Ten years ago, Jerry Jones swore to Mike that he was going to hire him, if Bill Parcells didn’t take the job with the Cowboys,” Ann said. “Of course, Parcells did take the job [in 2003].

“I wouldn’t say Mike has been frustrated waiting for this chance. Maybe a little disappointed, yeah, when he saw other coordinators with less of a record getting jobs, but as long as he was in football, coaching, Mike was OK.”

Ann and Bill Zimmer Sr. have been married for 58 years. They met in Peoria, Ill., where Bill was a football player of excellence for Bradley University. Bradley dropped the sport in 1970, which was 11 years after Bill had been inducted into the school’s athletic Hall of Fame.

Bill retired in 1995 from his duties at Lockport Township High School in northeastern Illinois. The Zimmers went to Naples for the winter and never moved back.

Bill Sr. was the football coach in Lockport from 1960 through 1993. He also coached wrestling. Mike was his quarterback and a standout wrestler. And there was never much doubt that Mike also would be a coach.

“Even when he was a kid, we would put a game tape in at home and he would sit back and watch,” Bill, 82, said on Wednesday. “He wanted to know what the game was all about.

“I’m tickled to death today … and proud of him to have the patience and strength to stick with it and get this chance.”

The real test of strength for the entire Zimmer family came in October 2009, when Mike’s wife Vikki died unexpectedly.

“It was devastating for Mike, for all of us,” Ann said. “Vikki was the greatest person. Mike was all football and Vikki took care of everything else for the family.

“She also would tell Mike to not yell so much at the players. She would bake cookies — mostly chocolate chip — and have him take them to practice, to make it up to the players for Mike being ‘so mean.’ ”

Ann and Bill Sr. raised three children in Lockport: Bill Jr., Mike and daughter Karen Bates.

“Our son Bill sells railways products,” Ann said. “He’s going to be in Minneapolis on Friday. We heard that’s when the Vikings are going to have the press conference.

“Bill called today and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if I could get in there to see Mike introduced?’ ”

There’s a strong possibility that Adam, one of Mike’s three children, will be joining his father in Minnesota.

Adam was an assistant secondary coach on Mike’s defensive staff this season in Cincinnati.

I don’t think Ann Zimmer can be cited for tampering when she expresses hope that her grandson gets a promotion to his father’s staff in Minnesota.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Oakland - J. Lester 7:07 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Minnesota 10/2/14 7:25 PM
Green Bay
Buffalo 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Chicago 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Cleveland 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
St. Louis 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Atlanta 10/5/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Tampa Bay 10/5/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Houston 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Baltimore 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Pittsburgh 10/5/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Arizona 10/5/14 3:05 PM
Denver
Kansas City 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
NY Jets 10/5/14 3:25 PM
San Diego
Cincinnati 10/5/14 7:30 PM
New England
Seattle 10/6/14 7:30 PM
Washington
NY Islanders 0 2nd Prd 18:33
Boston 1
NY Rangers 1 2nd Prd 18:28
Philadelphia 1
Ottawa 7:00 PM
Winnipeg
Carolina 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Tampa Bay 7:30 PM
Dallas
Colorado 8:00 PM
Calgary
Los Angeles 9:30 PM
San Jose
Fla Atlantic 10/2/14 6:00 PM
FIU
UCF 10/2/14 6:00 PM
Houston
Arizona 10/2/14 9:30 PM
(2) Oregon
Louisville 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Syracuse
San Diego St 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Fresno State
Utah State 10/3/14 9:15 PM
(18) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(12) Miss State
Ball State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Army
Iowa State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(21) Oklahoma State
Marshall 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Old Dominion
Southern Miss 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Middle Tennessee
(20) Ohio State 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Maryland
Purdue 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Florida 10/4/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
SMU 10/4/14 11:00 AM
(22) East Carolina
Virginia Tech 10/4/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Eastern Mich 10/4/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Texas 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Indiana
Massachusetts 10/4/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Tulsa 10/4/14 2:00 PM
Colorado State
New Mexico 10/4/14 2:30 PM
TX-San Antonio
(3) Alabama 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(11) Ole Miss
(14) Stanford 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(9) Notre Dame
(17) Wisconsin 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Navy 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
(7) Baylor 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Texas
(4) Oklahoma 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(25) TCU
Wake Forest 10/4/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
NC State 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Clemson
Buffalo 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Bowling Green
Ohio U 10/4/14 2:30 PM
Central Mich
Oregon State 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Colorado
Vanderbilt 10/4/14 3:00 PM
(13) Georgia
Kansas 10/4/14 3:00 PM
West Virginia
Kent State 10/4/14 4:00 PM
Northern Ill
South Alabama 10/4/14 5:00 PM
Appalachian St
Texas-El Paso 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
(15) LSU 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(5) Auburn
UAB 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Ky
Texas Tech 10/4/14 6:00 PM
(23) Kansas State
Michigan 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rutgers
Hawaii 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Rice
Toledo 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Western Mich
ULM 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Georgia State 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
Idaho 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Texas State
Memphis 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Arizona State 10/4/14 6:30 PM
(16) USC
So Carolina 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Kentucky
Pittsburgh 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Virginia
Miami-Florida 10/4/14 6:30 PM
Georgia Tech
(19) Nebraska 10/4/14 7:00 PM
(10) Michigan State
UNLV 10/4/14 7:00 PM
San Jose St
Ga Southern 10/4/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Utah 10/4/14 9:30 PM
(8) UCLA
Boise State 10/4/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Winnipeg 10/3/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 10/3/14 9:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 10/4/14 3:00 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 10/4/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Is it the right move to replace Ron Gardenhire?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close