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Vikings fire coach Mike Zimmer, GM Rick Spielman

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Vikings fire coach Mike Zimmer, GM Rick Spielman
Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, who was fired Monday, led the team to an 8-9 record this season. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The Minnesota Vikings fired longtime head coach Mike Zimmer and general manager Rick Spielman on Monday, the team announced.

Zimmer led the Vikings to an 8-9 record in 2021. He posted an overall record of 72-56-1 over his eight seasons with the NFC North franchise. The 2021-22 Vikings finished second in the NFC North standings, but failed to make the playoffs for the second-consecutive season.

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"This morning, we met with Rick Spielman and Mike Zimmer to notify them we will be moving in a different direction at the general manager and head coach positions in 2022," Vikings owners Mark Wilf and Zygi Wilf said in a joint statement.

"We appreciate Rick and Mike's commitment to the team's on-field success, their passion for making a positive impact in our community and their dedication to players, coaches and staff.

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"While these decisions are not easy, we believe it is time for new leadership to elevate our team so we can consistently contend for championships."

The Vikings hired Zimmer in 2014. He spent his previous 20 seasons as an assistant coach, defensive backs coach and a defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys, Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals.

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Spielman joined the Vikings in 2006. The team reached the NFC Championship game twice, but never advanced to the Super Bowl, over his 16-year tenure.

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"We wish both Rick and Mike and their families only the best," the Wilfs said. "Our comprehensive search for a new general manager and head coach will begin immediately and will be led internally.

"We are determined to have sustained success and bring Vikings fans the Super Bowl championships they expect and deserve."

The 2021-22 Vikings started the season 0-2 and did not reach a winning record at any point. They ended the season with a 31-17 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday in Minneapolis.

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The San Francisco 49ers' Jimmy Garoppolo raises his hands in triumph after beating the Los Angeles Rams in overtime at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. The 49ers defeated the Rams 27-24 to capture a playoff slot in the NFC. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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