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Vikings tab Childress as coach
Jan. 6: New Minnesota Viking coach Brad Childress says he’ll do everything he can “to bring an NFC championship and Super Bowl to the people of Minnesota.”
MINNEAPOLIS - Zygi Wilf was looking for more than just a winner when he interviewed candidates for the Minnesota Vikings’ coaching vacancy.
After a first season as an NFL owner littered with ticket scalping, Whizzinators and scandalous boat parties off the field, and a disappointing 9-7 record on it, Wilf wanted a steadying presence.
Philadelphia offensive coordinator Brad Childress was hired Friday to replace the fired Mike Tice, whose four-season tenure was plagued by player malfeasance and only moderate success.
“Coach Childress was the elite NFL head coaching candidate,” Wilf said. “He embodies class, character and discipline and is a great family man. Bottom line, Brad Childress is a winner.”
Childress, who signed a five-year guaranteed contract, knows what lies ahead. He quoted former football coach Gene Stallings that, “the fun in this business is winning.” But he added a caveat.
“The mandate is clear, however, that it needs to be done with the class and dignity that the Wilf family exudes,” said Childress, dressed for the part in a purple tie and Vikings lapel pin.
The 49-year-old has been the Eagles’ offensive coordinator since 2002 and helped lead Philly to four straight NFC East titles and last year’s Super Bowl. This is his first head coaching job.
A lifelong assistant, Childress started at Illinois in 1978. He was the quarterbacks coach for Indianapolis in 1985 before holding assistant positions with Northern Arizona, Utah and Wisconsin.
Childress joined the Eagles as quarterbacks coach under Andy Reid in 1999, earning praise for his work with Donovan McNabb and has been considered for head coaching jobs the last few years.
“When you work your way up the ladder and have to grind like that, it gives you a great appreciation for the process,” Childress said. “I’m happy I got this one and not some of the other ones.”
Minnesota also interviewed defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell, Kansas City assistant head coach and offensive coordinator Al Saunders and Indianapolis assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell.
With eight head coaching positions open across the league, the Vikings wanted to move quickly. Childress was scheduled to meet with Green Bay and Houston, but Wilf persuaded him to stay in the Twin Cities for a second interview, and Childress never went anywhere else.
“These guys jumped out. It’s one of those deals where you snooze, you lose,” Childress said, adding that the process was thorough despite the speed.
PFT: Defensive end finally finds a new team in San Diego — and for a honey of a deal that would be worth a max of $13.35 million.
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