The Vikings made Brad Childress their first candidate to interview for the head coaching job, and after interviewing at least three other candidates, Childress was chosen as the seventh head coach of the Minnesota Vikings Thursday, according to Jay Glazer of FoxSport.com. The two sides are thought to be in negotiations Thursday evening finalizing a contract with a press conference expected sometime Friday if sides can come to terms.
Childress comes to the Vikings after spending sevens years as an assistant with the Philadelphia Eagles, the last four as their offensive coordinator.
"I do believe that Brad is one of the top assistant coaches in the National Football League," Philadelphia head coach Andy Reid said in the Eagles' 2005 media guide. "He's done a great job and he's going to get rewarded for it sooner or later."
That reward came this week when the owners and executives of the Vikings made their decision.
Childress is known for his teams holding onto the ball. In 2003, the Eagles established a team record for fewest turnovers in a season (22) and matched that mark again in 2004. In 2004, the Eagles set franchise records in passer rating (96.4), completion percentage (61.4) and gross yards passing (4,208). That also brought out franchise records for Donovan McNabb in rating (104.7), completion percentage (64.0) and passing yards (3,875).
Childress also has Midwest connections, having served as offensive coordinator and QB coach at the University of Wisconsin from 1992-98, during which time the Badgers played in five bowl games, including two Rose Bowl victories. In 1993, the Badgers set a school record and ranked fourth in Big Ten history with 455.2 yards per game. Vikings running back Michael Bennett, who played under Childress his freshman season, thinks highly of the coach.
"Brad's a good guy. He knows offense and knows defense," Bennett told Viking Update. "If he's one of the candidates, then I think he's a great fit. He's a great family guy. You hate to say he's this kind of mold, but a mold like a Tony Dungy – just a great all-around guy. Players really have a lot of respect for him."
Bennett said he keeps in touch with Eagles QB Donovan McNabb, RB Brian Westbrook and former FB Cecil Martin, who all endorse Childress as a coach and person.
Childress's offenses have proven to be productive with rotating personnel as well. In 2002, despite starting three different quarterbacks, the Eagles set a team record with 415 points.
"There are a lot of different ways to win a football game," Childress said in the Philadelphia media guide. "You have to be open-minded, innovate and adjust, play to the tools you have. We've done that here. We have different personnel now than we had in the past. You need to utilize what you have."
He has also coached in collegiately at Illinois, Northern Arizona and Utah, as well as coaching quarterbacks with the Indianapolis Colts in 1985.
Childress and his wife, Dru-Ann, have four children: sons Kyle, Andrew and Christopher and daughter Cara, all over the age of 15.
Vikings to Name Childress Head Coach
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