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

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

Mike Zimmer is known for his confronting style as a coach. It was a style learned from his father.

“He has the same personality with players as I did,” Bill Sr. said. “You got to know when to start in on them. You also have to know when to stop, or you’re going to lose a player. Mike knows both.”

Mike started tagging along with his father on football journeys when he was in second or third grade.

There’s a story about Kansas trying to recruit one of Bill’s Lockport players.

As part of the pitch, Bears all-time great Gale Sayers invited the player and Bill Sr. to Sayers’ Chicago-area home. Mike Zimmer, at 9 years of age, had a chance to play pool with Sayers.

“Some people say he’s more like me than his dad, since I’m more outgoing,” Ann said. “For instance, I’ve never heard Mike swear around the house. Bill didn’t swear at home, either.

“Maybe they do some of that at the football field, but never at home.”

Right, Mom … just a touch of swearing was noted from your lad on “Hard Knocks 2013.”

Ann Zimmer did offer an assessment of Mike’s coaching that Vikings fans expect to be more accurate than on his cussing.

“You’re getting a great coach up there,” she said.

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500.

preusse@startribune.com

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