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Brad Childress

Brad Childress (born June 27, 1956 in Aurora, Illinois) is the former head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He took the team over in 2006. His first season with the Vikings was his worst season with them, being his only losing season. In 2009, he took his team to the NFC Championship Game. Childress was fired on November 22, 2010 following a 31-3 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Before Childress's tenure with the Vikings, he served as the Offensive Coordinator for the Philadelphia Eagles. On January 27th, 2012, Childress reportedly agreed to terms with Randy Lerner, the team's owner, and Browns Team President Mike Holmgren to become Cleveland Browns offensive coordinator under head coach Pat Shurmur. It was confirmed by both ESPN and that day.

Early coaching career[]

Childress is 1978 graduate of Eastern Illinois University,[1] where he preceded current New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton.[2] Childress attended Eastern Illinois after playing quarterback and wide receiver at the University of Illinois.[3] He was one of three Eastern Illinois University alums who are head coaches in the NFL, along with Sean Payton and Mike Shanahan. {C Prior to his hiring by the Vikings, Childress had worked exclusively as an offensive coach, working his way up through the ranks in various college and NFL organizations, first as a position coach, culminating with his offensive coordinator position with the Eagles.

Since 1978, Childress has worked for four college organizations and three NFL teams:

During the last four seasons of his tenure on the University of Illinois' coaching staff, the Illini posted four consecutive winning seasons ('81-'84),[4] including a Big Ten championship and a trip to the Rose Bowl in 1983.[5] Childress followed stints with the Indianapolis Colts, Northern Arizona, and the University of Utah with a very successful run at the University of Wisconsin. Childress was the offensive coordinator under former Badger head coach Barry Alvarez,[6] and directed offenses that helped the Badgers to five bowl game appearances from 1993–1998, including two Rose Bowls as Big Ten co-champions following the 1993 and 1998 seasons.[5] He coached running back Ron Dayne for three seasons. Dayne went on to win the 1999 Heisman Trophy and finished his career as the all-time leading rusher in the Football Bowl Subdivision.[7]

Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2005)[]

Childress joined the Philadelphia Eagles for the 1999 NFL season, and helped the team to three consecutive trips to the NFC Championship game (2001–03), and a Super Bowl trip in 2004.[8] Andy Reid, the Eagles' head coach, had previously worked with Childress at Northern Arizona University, a staff that also included future NFL coaches Bill Callahan and Marty Mornhinweg. Childress did not call plays, this responsibility was taken by Andy Reid. He did receive credit for his work with quarterback Donovan McNabb, who was named to five Pro Bowls during his time with Childress.[9]

Minnesota Vikings (2006-2010)[]

On January 6, 2006, Childress was hired to be the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. This choice was the result of a short selection process. Former coach Mike Tice was informed that his contract would not be renewed shortly after the Vikings' last game of the 2005 season on December 31. Four candidates were interviewed by the Vikings: Childress, Kansas City Chiefs offensive coordinator Al Saunders, Indianapolis Colts assistant head coach Jim Caldwell, and former Vikings defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.

The Vikings were 9-7 with Mike Tice the year before Childress was named head coach. After going 6-10 in his first year, the team went 8-8 in his second season, narrowly missing a playoff berth. This was followed by a 10-6 record and NFC North title while battling the fourth-toughest schedule in the NFL. However, the Vikings were defeated by the #6 seed Philadelphia Eagles 26-14 in the first round of the 2009 playoffs.

On November 19, 2009, the Vikings announced they would be extending Brad Childress's contract through the 2013 season. The owner Zygi Wilf was cited as saying, “Brad has done a tremendous job leading this football team and we value the positive environment he has created for the Minnesota Vikings on and off the field, He has continued to positively impact this team and create a strong foundation for future success."[10]

Partly due to frustration with the development of quarterback Tavaris Jackson and the struggles of Sage Rosenfels, the Vikings signed Brett Favre for the 2009 season. Favre joined to the team after a controversial courtship which included Childress picking him up at the airport.[11] Favre had a fine year as he led the Vikings to a 12-4 season, losing to the New Orleans Saints in the NFC Championship Game.

The Vikings acquired wide receiver Randy Moss and a seventh-round selection in the 2012 NFL Draft from the New England Patriots in early October 2010 in exchange for the Vikings' third-round selection in the 2011 Draft. Just four weeks later he was waived under Childress' direction, incurring the wrath of Viking fans. ESPN reported that Childress did not consider consulting with team owner Zygi Wilf on this decision.[12] After the unilateral decision to cut Moss, Childress' integrity was questioned by at least one former Vikings beat reporter.[13] The reporter featured a quote from Childress made shortly after being hired, which stated, "telling the truth is the only way I know how to do it." The article cites multiple instances of Childress lying to the media.

Childress was fired on November 22, 2010, following a 31–3 home loss to the Green Bay Packers which dropped the team to 3-7 on the year.[14][15]