MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 8 (UPI) -- Minnesota Vikings Wednesday announced the promotion of George O'Leary to defensive coordinator.
The promotion was announced by Coach Mike Tice, who himself received a vote of confidence from owner Red McCombs near the end of the season.
Tice is re-organizing his staff, and the O'Leary promotion is part of that process. O'Leary had been assistant head coach and defensive line coach.
As defensive coordinator, O'Leary replaces Willie Shaw, who held a similar post in 2002. Under Shaw, the Vikings were 26th in the NFL in total defense. Only the Cincinnati Bengals (456) and Detroit Lions (451) allowed more points than Minnesota (442).
O'Leary coached at Georgia Tech before being forced to resign days after taking the Notre Dame job in December 2001. He coached Tice in high school. O'Leary joined Tice's staff soon after the incident at Notre Dame.
Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan will assume the duties of quarterbacks coach while Pete Bercich will handle O'Leary's former duties as defensive line chores.
Minnesota went 6-10 in 2002 and Tice is 6-11 as the Vikings' coach.