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Vikings to hire Mike Zimmer as head coach

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The Minnesota Vikings have their man.

A source confirmed Wednesday morning the Vikings will hire Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as the ninth coach in team history.

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ESPN first reported the story.

The Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator conducted a second round of interviews Tuesday and Wednesday at Winter Park.

Zimmer, 57, has been an NFL assistant for 20 years, including the past six running Cincinnati's defense. The Bengals ranked third in the NFL in total defense this past season.

Zimmer replaces Leslie Frazier, who was fired Dec. 30.

Zimmer never has been an NFL head coach. None of the head coaches the Vikings have hired in their 53-year history have had NFL head-coaching experience.

Two Vikings players, guard Brandon Fusco and linebacker Audie Cole, said they were excited about their new coach.

Zimmer and the Bengals staff coached the 2011 Senior Bowl team that Fusco played on.

"He's a really hard-nosed guy. He's a pretty fired-up guy," Fusco said. "He loves coaching guys, making them better."

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