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Zimmer takes over as Vikings coach

(Reuters) - The Minnesota Vikings named Cincinnati Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer as their new head coach on Wednesday, confirming his appointment with an announcement on their website.

Zimmer, who has been the defensive coordinator with the Bengals since 2008, will join a Vikings team that allowed a league-worst 480 points during the 2013 NFL season.

He will replace Leslie Frazier, who was fired the day after the Vikings finished last in the NFC North division with a 5-10-1 record.

"I'm grateful to the entire Vikings organisation for giving me an opportunity to join a franchise with such a strong tradition," Zimmer told the team website (www.vikings.com).

"I look forward to getting to work on leading a team capable of long-term success."

Zimmer, 57, who was previously the defensive coordinator for the Dallas Cowboys (2000-06) and Atlanta Falcons (2007), has plenty of experience in developing defensive players.

The Bengals are coming off a 11-5 season during which they allowed the equal fifth-fewest points against and won the AFC North Division before losing to the San Diego Chargers in the playoffs.

(Writing by Frank Pingue in Toronto; additional reporting by Jahmal Corner; in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien)

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