MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Two members of the Monsters of the Midway defense from Chicago’s famed championship team are reuniting in Minnesota.
Ex-San Francisco head coach Mike Singletary is joining former teammate Leslie Frazier’s staff with the Vikings. Singletary’s agent, Bob LaMonte, confirmed in an e-mail to The Associated Press Tuesday that Singletary will be the linebackers coach and assistant head coach under Frazier, who was named head coach two weeks ago. Singletary told ESPN 1000 in Chicago during a radio interview earlier in the day he’s coming to Minnesota.
Singletary was 18-22 in two-plus seasons in charge of the 49ers, who fired him last month before their final game. Singletary, a linebacker, and Frazier, a cornerback, were part of the dominant defense that led the Bears to a Super Bowl title after the 1985 season. They’ve remained close friends since, and last season during the week leading up to the 49ers-Vikings game both men spoke highly of each other.
“He is a guy that any organization would be proud to have,” Singletary said then of Frazier, who was elevated from defensive coordinator to interim head coach when the Vikings fired Brad Childress on Nov. 22. Frazier was formally given the job on Jan. 3.
Frazier and the Vikings are not commenting about their coaching staff assembly process until it’s finalized. Frazier, who is expected to promote linebackers coach Fred Pagac to replace him as defensive coordinator, has several spots to fill on the offensive side. Also, special teams coordinator Brian Murphy left this week for the same job with Carolina.
To start, though, Singletary will give Frazier an assistant with plenty of experience plus the profile of a Hall of Fame player even though his time with the 49ers was marked by internal conflict and unmet expectations. They started this season 0-5 and never recovered.
“You know what, I’ll put it this way: a personal failure. I’m the head coach of this team and obviously wanted us to do better, felt that we could do better,” Singletary said after his last game with the 49ers.
Singletary began his coaching career with Baltimore in 2003 and was an assistant with San Francisco until becoming head coach of the 49ers on an interim basis in October 2008.