Vikings set to pick Brad Childress

  • Article by: JUDD ZULGAD and SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 5, 2006 - 11:38 PM

Brad Childress, offensive coordinator at Philadelphia, is Minnesota's choice to succeed Mike Tice as head coach, according to two sources.

The Vikings have selected Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Brad Childress to be their next head coach.

Childress confirmed that contract talks were taking place Thursday night at a downtown Minneapolis hotel.

"It's close," said Childress, talking about the deal, when reached late Thursday night. "I'll probably be more excited about this tomorrow."

The Vikings are expected to hold a news conference this morning at Winter Park in Eden Prairie.

Childress will become the first coach hired to fill one of the National Football League's eight job openings and will be the Vikings' seventh head coach.

"That's cool and it's kind of overdue for him," Eagles tight end L.J. Smith said. "He's a good guy. Smart. Organized."

The Eagles' Smith added: "I think Minnesota is going to get the next great coach."

Childress, 49, was one of four candidates the Vikings interviewed after Mike Tice was dismissed.

Tice was let go shortly after a victory over Chicago in the regular-season finale last Sunday.

The team's four-person search committee also interviewed Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, Kansas City assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Al Saunders, and Indianapolis assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell for the position.

"I guess he's the guy they deem to be the best candidate to lead the franchise into the future," said Vikings linebacker Keith Newman, an unrestricted free agent this offseason. "I really don't know much about him."

Childress jumped to the top of the Vikings' short list after Washington assistant head coach and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams signed a three-year, $8 million contract Tuesday to remain with the Redskins.

Childress was the first coaching candidate to meet with the Vikings' search committee, which includes owner Zygi Wilf, team president Mark Wilf, vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski and vice president of operations and legal counsel Kevin Warren. Childress' initial meeting took place Monday night and the interview continued Tuesday.

He was supposed to talk to the Packers about their vacant head coaching position on Wednesday, but he never went to Green Bay.

By Thursday, negotiations were taking place between Brzezinski and Warren on the Vikings' side, and Childress' agent, Bob LaMonte. None of them returned messages. Zygi Wilf joined the talks in the evening after flying back to the Twin Cities on his private plane.

Childress was not in the room where negotiations were taking place, so "it's kind of hard to tell" how they were progressing, he said.

When asked if a head coaching job in the NFL was a dream come true, Childress said, "How about if I just make those comments tomorrow?"

A coach since 1978

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