UPDATE, 6:27 PM CST, 1/3/11: It’s official. Leslie Frazier was introduced by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf as the Vikings new head coach during a 4:15 PM CST press conference (see video below).
Wait a minute! Frazier did not confirm he’s been hired during his post-game press conference, saying “Nothing’s been solidified.” As of 3:18 PM CST, though, the Star Tribune reports that the Frazier hiring will be made official on Monday or Tuesday.
The Star Tribune has confirmed that the Minnesota Vikings have offered the head coaching position to Leslie Frazier and that Frazier has accepted what is expected to be a three-year deal.
The move keeps Frazier from becoming a free agent where he would’ve likely been hotly pursued by other teams. Frazier’s record as head coach of the Vikings is 3-2 (with the Vikings currently trailing the Lions 13-7
and looking flat), with wins over two losing teams and one impressive victory over the playoff-bound Philadelphia Eagles.
While not exactly a brilliant record, the extenuating circumstances during Frazier’s interim reign were many and severe: Taking over a team in turmoil from a discredited head coach, and navigating from crisis to crisis from there, including a collapsed stadium, a postponed, out-of-state “home” game, another home game in a makeshift stadium played in the elements, another postponed game in Philly, and a season ending game played on four days rest.
It won’t get any easier for Frazier from here on out.
First, there’s the uncertainty over the labor situation. Then, he’s be taking over an aging roster chock full of free agents, a Pro Bowl running back who will be demanding a blockbuster contract, and no clear starting quarterback, a questionable wide receiving corps, and a disastrous offensive line and defensive secondary.
While he’ll own a top ten pick going into the 2011 draft, thanks to Brad Childress, he will not have the third-round pick that was wasted with the Randy Moss trade-and-release.
No word yet on what the Vikings will do with their front office personnel situation. Will Rick Speilman be promoted to GM? Will the Vikings look elsewhere for a GM? Will the structure remain the same?
Here’s Frazier’s post-game press conference: