Former Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer is joining the coaching staff at Jackson State University for the 2022 season, according to multiple reports. He'll be an analyst on the staff of head coach Deion Sanders, Zimmer's close friend.
Sanders hinted at the news on Tuesday morning, tweeting out a video of Zimmer addressing his team.
Zimmer spoke about his new job with Thee Pregame Show.
“He’s asked me about it a few times. The pay’s not good,” Zimmer said with a grin. “But I do love Deion and I’d do anything for him.”
“He can open up so many doors for these young men, but I’m extremely impressed with the way he’s teaching them about life and not just football. And taking care of them, and talking to them about the real things that go on in the world and not the fluff stuff.”
Zimmer, 66, spent the last eight seasons as the Vikings' head coach, compiling a 74-59-1 record, including playoffs. He was fired in January along with GM Rick Spielman after missing the postseason in two consecutive years.
Before stints as the defensive coordinator of the Falcons and Bengals, Zimmer first entered the NFL as an assistant coach with the Cowboys for 13 years. He was Sanders' defensive backs coach in Dallas from 1995-99, which is where their relationship began. Last season, Zimmer answered a phone call from Sanders during a Zoom press conference with Vikings reporters.
Before entering the NFL coaching ranks, Zimmer coached at the college level from 1979 to 1993.
Sanders took over as the head coach at Jackson State in 2020, elevating the national prominence and recruiting of the HBCU school. Last season, they went 11-2 and won their conference, the SWAC. Despite competing at the FCS level, JSU had four nationally-televised games in 2021.
Zimmer also recently joined The 33rd Team as a media contributor. We'll see if he considers a return to the NFL in 2023.
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