Eden Prairie, Minn. Hastily hired five seasons ago to bring order to a disheveled franchise, Brad Childress vowed to lead the Minnesota Vikings the only way he knew how — in case this was his only crack at being a head coach.
After an eventful and often tumultuous run marred recently by player unrest, livid fans, and a boss angry about abrupt personnel decisions and a 3-7 start this year, Childress is out.
His conservative approach to offensive strategy and rigid communication style are gone, too, leaving behind a talented team that’s out of the playoff race and a leadership vacuum in an organization trying hard to rebuild public good will toward a new stadium.
Childress was fired Monday, one season after he famously picked up Brett Favre at the airport, got a contract extension and came within a field goal of reaching the Super Bowl. Owner Zygi Wilf read from a script and wouldn’t get into specifics about his decision.
“It’s often difficult to articulate one reason why change is needed,” Wilf said.
“He was an integral part of helping this franchise turn the corner and re-establishing ourselves as a force in the NFL,” Wilf said, “as well as bringing in players who did an excellent job representing themselves and our organization in this community.”
Defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier, who has interviewed seven times for NFL head coaching jobs, will serve as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.
Childress is the second NFL coach to be fired this season after Wade Phillips was let go by Dallas.