Mike Priefer
Cleveland Browns
Position:Special teams coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1966-08-21) August 21, 1966 (age 53)
Cleveland, Ohio
Career information
College:U.S. Naval Academy
Career history
As coach:
* Navy Midshipmen (1994–1996)
(Graduate assistant)

Mike Priefer (born August 21, 1966)[1] is an American football special teams coordinator for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League.[2][3] He has almost two decades of pro coaching experience.

Priefer has held coaching positions for Navy, Youngstown State, Virginia Military Institute, and Northern Illinois at the college level. He has also been an assistant for the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL and has held coaching positions for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants.

Early years Edit

Priefer is the son of Chuck Priefer, a retired NFL coach and special teams coordinator.[4] He attended the United States Naval Academy, and then joined the United States Navy, serving from 1991 to 1994.[5] He was stationed in the Persian Gulf as a helicopter pilot.[6][7] He played quarterback and wide receiver at Navy.[8]

Coaching career Edit

For the 2002 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Priefer as a Special Teams Coordinator to replace Frank Gansz.[9] At the end of the season, Tom Coughlin, at the time the head coach of the Jaguars, was fired and replaced with Jack Del Rio while Priefer was replaced with Bill Bates.

Priefer moved to the NFC East New York Giants in 2003. He worked with head coach Jim Fassel during the 2003 season, and during the 2004 season with new head coach, Tom Coughlin.

Between 2006 and 2008, Priefer coached for the Kansas City Chiefs. He then moved to the Denver Broncos in the AFC.

Minnesota Vikings Edit

In 2011, Priefer was hired as special teams coach for the Minnesota Vikings.[10]

In 2012, Priefer won the Special Teams Coach of the Year by all the Special Teams Coaches in the NFL. It was thanks to help of the Vikings Kicker Blair Walsh, who had a very productive 2012 Rookie Season.

In 2014, Priefer was suspended for three weeks after making a homophobic remark.[5][11] Former punter Chris Kluwe threatened to sue the Vikings for alleged wrongful termination and religious discrimination by Priefer.[12] Priefer underwent sensitivity training before returning to work.[13]

In 2016, Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer had emergency eye surgery, and Priefer was named the head coach for the week 13 game against the Dallas Cowboys. The Vikings lost 17-15.[14]

Cleveland Browns Edit

In January 2019, Priefer took a job as the next Special Teams Coordinator for his hometown Cleveland Browns.

References Edit

  1. Sports Illustrated (July 1, 2006). NFL Record and Fact. Time Home Entertainment, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-933405-32-2.
  2. "Mike Priefer keeps job with Vikings". ESPN, February 6, 2014 - Blair Walsh
  3. "Minnesota Vikings don't seem too concerned about the preseason struggles of Blair Walsh Eric Oslund". Scout, December 9, 2015
  4. "Priefer enjoys his week as second-best special teams coach in Mankato". Star Tribune
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Vikings' Priefer sees ordeal through". Star Tribune, Mark Craig December 6, 2014
  6. Todd Anton; Bill Nowlin (November 15, 2013). When Football Went to War. Triumph Books. pp. 258–. ISBN 978-1-62368-309-2.
  7. "Vikings assistant Mike Priefer, a former Navy helicopter pilot, took a special pride in Osama bin Laden mission" Pioneer Press.
  8. "Mike Priefer (photo and caption)". Chicago Tribune.
  9. "Ex-copter pilot lands with Jags". By Vito Stellino, Times-Union July 14, 2002
  10. "Vikings assistant Mike Priefer, a former Navy helicopter pilot, took a special pride in Osama bin Laden mission". March 5, 2011 Twin Cities, Pioneer Press, By Jeremy Fowler
  11. "Mike Priefer: Learned 'hard lesson'". ESPN, July 24, 2014 - Cullen Loeffler
  12. "Kluwe: Lawsuit vs. Vikings depends on Priefer investigation outcome". Fox Sports, Brian Hall.
  13. "Mike Priefer: I think I’m a better man after sensitivity training". NBC Sports.
  14. Goessling, B. (December 1, 2016). Mike Zimmer of Minnesota Vikings has emergency eye surgery, won't coach Dallas Cowboys game.

External linksEdit

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