The Minnesota Vikings hired Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their next head coach, multiple media outlets reported Wednesday.
Zimmer, a 20-year veteran assistant coach, spent the past five seasons as defensive coordinator for the Cincinnati Bengals. His name was mentioned often during the past few years in head coaching searches before he finally landed the job with the Vikings.
Zimmer interviewed in Minnesota on Tuesday and stayed overnight as contract negotiations continued, according ESPN.com.
Zimmer will replace Leslie Frazier, who was fired after the 2013 season.
Before joining the Bengals, Zimmer was the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys from 2000 to 2006 and the Atlanta Falcons in 2007.
Zimmer, 57, who has never been a head coach at any level, becomes the third head coach hired since current owners Zygi and Mark Wilf bought the team in 2005.
"I've heard nothing but great things about him," Vikings safety Jamarca Sanford told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. "I heard he's a passionate coach, a player coach, a man of respect. That's what you want out of a head coach.
"I like the way he communicates with the players on the sidelines, he'll get in your face and he's aggressive. I love that as a defensive player. That's what every defensive player wants."
The Vikings were 31st in total defense last season, and Zimmer's Bengals defense was third overall.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph tweeted: "Fired up about Coach Zimmer! As a Cincy kid he's been fun to watch there and can't wait to work with him! Welcome to the @Vikings!"
Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said Zimmer has what it takes to be a head coach.
"Zim does a great job of identifying who to push and when," Lewis was quoted on the Bengals website. "He helps me by being the guy who puts his foot up their butt, getting them moving in the right direction so I don't have to be the one to do it all the time."