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Minnesota Vikings Usher In the New Year with a New Head Coach

January 4, 2011

Vikings’ owner Zygi Wilf did not waste any time finding a new coach for his team. A day after the team put the 2010 season to bed, the Vikings officially announced the hiring of Leslie Frazier as their new head coach.

Donning a black suit and purple tie, Frazier met with reporters to reflect on achieving his lifelong goal.

“This is a great day for me and my family,” Frazier said. “There have been many days where I have thought about one day becoming a head coach in the National Football League. The many places I have had a chance to talk to, to different owners and different organizations about their positions, for it to happen in Minnesota, this is a dream come true.”

Vikings’ players – young and old – were excited as they spoke highly of Frazier.

“Coach Frazier is the perfect fit for this team,” said wide receiver Percy Harvin. “This season and the last six weeks were tough on everyone but Coach Frazier did a great job in keeping us together. Now that we know he is leading this team it’s on the players to get his back and go out and win him some ball games. I know the 2010 season just ended but I’m already looking forward to the 2011 Vikings.”

Defensive lineman Kevin Williams remarked on Frazier’s ability to relate to the players in the locker room.

“We’re excited that Leslie is going to get the chance to be the head coach for the future. He’s put in his time and worked his way up and showed what he could do already this year. He’s a guy who can relate to how the players feel and what they’re going through and that’s important. He’s been where we are and he’s earned our trust.”

With 17 players set to be free agents this offseason, Frazier’s Vikings will certainly look different than previous versions.

“It’ll be dramatically different,” said Frazier. “We do have a number of free agents, but that’s not any different than most teams in the National Football League…We’ve just got to make sure that we do the right things with acquiring the right people and then re-signing the guys that we want to re-sign. We’re not a whole lot different than some teams who have similar situations.”

As reporters peppered Frazier with questions about how the Vikings will change under his regime, the new coach remained calm and confident as he reminded them that his team is only one year removed from an NFC North championship.

“One of the things that gets me excited about my job here in Minnesota is that I don’t think we’re that far away. I really believe that there’s some things, that if we address them this offseason, we’re right back in the hunt for the NFC North Championship and the NFC Championship as well. I really believe that in my heart just knowing our roster, knowing our division and what you have to do to win in our division.”

As the interim head coach, Frazier motivated his players to finish the season with 3 wins and 3 losses. In a talented NFC North, the 2011 Vikings will have their work cut out for them, but Frazier is confident his team will bring home the ultimate goal of a Super Bowl to Minnesota.

“[I]t’s only a matter of time before we deliver what our fans and this organization deserves, a World Championship. I believe that’s going to happen. I believe it in my heart.”

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