At the end of the Minnesota Vikings' disappointing 2010 regular season, interim head coach Leslie Frazier had the temp-tag lifted and became their new FT head coach of all football operations. His team finished with a 3-3 record, under his direction, in 2010.
Frazier, former cornerback for the Chicago Bears from 1981-1985, led the historic '85 team in interceptions during their Super Bowl season, with six. A knee injury would end Frazier's all to early, while returning a punt in Super Bowl 20. Just three years later, Frazier was coaching at Trinity International University, in Illinois.
"There's been many-a-days where I thought about becoming a head coach in the National Football League. But to happen in Minnesota, man this is a dream come true," Frazier said in press conference following the decision.
But, Frazier is not the only former Bear, and not even the only former '85 Bear, that will be leading the Vikings against Chicago twice per season. Former 49ers head coach, and Bears' linebacker Mike Singletary said in a radio interview on Tuesday that he will become the Vikings' new linebackers coach.
The 10-time pro bowler, and Pro Football Hall of Famer, was on ESPN1000 Chicago Tuesday, "I'm going to be up in Minnesota with Les," Singletary said.
As if that weren't enough, Frazier said earlier this month that Fred Pagac will resume his role as the Vikings defensive coordinator. Pagac began his NFL career in 1974 as a tight end with the Chicago Bears and won the Brian Piccolo Award in his rookie season. He had six receptions for 79 yards (13.2 avg) with the Bears.
And it's not just the coaching staff boasting former Bears. Vikings' WR Bernard Berrian was selected by Chicago in the third round of the 2004 NFL Draft (78th overall) and caught 150 passes for 2,197 yards and 13 TDs over four seasons with the Bears. Although many believe Berrian may be looking for another team in 2011. Vikings DT Jimmy Kennedy also played in 3 games in a Bears uniform in 2007, recording 2 tackles.
For the old-school Bears fans, those who remember the '85 season, Bears-Vikings will be a reunion of team and player for at least a few years to come.
Interesting to note that when Mike Singletary was fired in San Francisco, another former Bear Jim Harbaugh was hired to replace him. That move means four of 32 active head coaches in the NFL - the Titans' Jeff Fisher, the Vikings' Leslie Frazier, Harbaugh, and recently the Panthers' Ron Rivera - were members of the Chicago Bears during the Mike Ditka coaching era.