Shaw Accepts Defensive Coordinator Position

As part of the coaching shakeup, Willie Shaw has accepted the position of defensive coordinator.

Many thought it was pretty much a done deal during the season that, when Willie Shaw joined the Vikings coaching staff, that he was taking on many of the duties of a defensive coordinator, to the chagrine of Emmitt Thomas.

Friday, it became official as the Vikings and Mike Tice named Shaw defensive coordinator for the team next season.

Shaw will still work with the defensive backs, but will oversee all aspects of the defense, which Tice hopes will make the team more aggressive on defense.

The search for an offensive coordinator continues, but that position may remain open until some playoff teams get eliminated.

* As part of his hiring as defensive line coach, George O'Leary will also carry the tag of assistant head coach.
* O'Leary goes way back with Tice. So far, in fact, he coached Tice when he was in high school on Long Island, New York.
* The Vikings have now purged all of the senior assistant coaches with the most tenure with the Vikings, getting rid of Richard Solomon, who was with the team 10 years, losing eight-year coach Trent Walters to Notre Dame and firing eight-year veteran coaches Gary Zauner and Carl Hargrave.
* Tice said he will move Jim Kleinsasser from fullback to tight end, which could jeopardize the team's chances to bring Byron Chamberlain back. However, Kleinsasser may become more of a H-back than a pure tight end and assistant Dean Dalton pointed out that they are very different tight ends.
* Tice becomes just the sixth coach in team history, joining Norm Van Brocklin, Bud Grant, Les Steckel, Jerry Burns and Dennis Green as the only head coaches in team history.

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