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Mike Zimmer to join Deion Sanders as Colorado defensive coordinator

Veteran NFL head coach Mike Zimmer has a history of leading defenses dating back to his days as the defensive coordinator for Weber State back in the 1980s.

After spending the 2022 season as an advisor to Deion Sanders at Jackson State, the 65-year-old Zimmer is taking on a new role.

According to veteran reporter Larry Fitzgerald Sr., Zimmer will follow Sanders to Colorado to be their new defensive coordinator. Sanders just recently took the job with the Buffaloes after a tremendous run at Jackson State. The Hall of Fame NFL player now has an experienced mind to help lead the charge in Boulder.

Related: College football transfer portal tracker

Mike Zimmer is a great hire for Deion Sanders and Colorado

mike zimmer hired by colorado
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

While Deion brings the flash and recruiting ability to Colorado, Zimmer is going to be all about the nuts and bolts for a program that’s coming off a 1-11 season.

Zimmer spent the early stages of his coaching career in college, finishing up with Washington State from 1989-1993. He then made the move to the NFL with the Dallas Cowboys in 1994, acting as their defensive backs coach from 1994-1999 before taking over as defensive coordinator up until 2006.

Zimmer also spent time as the defensive coordinator for the Atlanta Falcons and Cincinnati Bengals before taking over as the Vikings head coach in 2014. He enjoyed a nice amount of success prior to being fired following the 2021 campaign.

  • Mike Zimmer coaching record: 72-56-1, .562 winning percentage, three playoff appearances

As for his success as a coordinator, Zimmer led a total of 11 top-10 scoring units during his time in the NFL. That’s no small accomplishment.

Even with Sanders and Zimmer aboard, it’s going to take some time for Colorado to reach national relevance again. But the program could now use the transfer portal to add defenders who are ready to make an impact. There’s a whole plethora of defenders available.

The Buffs have to be seen as an attractive destination given their lack of all-around talent, opportunities available to transfers and Zimmer’s presence.