While one former Minnesota Vikings’ head coach recently announced his retirement. . .and then promptly took it back a week later. . .another man that once patrolled the sidelines at the Metrodome appears to be ready to hang up his headset as well.
Mike Tice, who coached the Vikings from 2002 to 2005 (along with one game at the end of the 2001 season) has announced that he is retiring from coaching. He says he’s ready to move on from the coaching ranks because “players today don’t want to be coached,” according to a conversation he had with KFAN radio host Dan Barriero.
Tice has been involved with the NFL in some way for 35 years. He played quarterback at the University of Maryland, but converted to the tight end position in the NFL and landed with the Seattle Seahawks in 1981. He played for eight seasons in Seattle, and returned to the Pacific Northwest for two more seasons after a one-year trip to the other Washington to play with the Redskins. He then spent a few years in Minnesota and, following his retirement after the 1995 season, became the team’s tight ends coach.
Tice then coached the offensive line from 1997 to 2001 and, when Denny Green got fired/resigned before the 2001 season finale, Tice stepped in as the interim head coach. The Vikings hired him as the full-time coach in 2002, probably because Red McCombs thought he could get Tice to do the job for cheap.
In his four seasons as the Vikings’ head coach, Tice compiled a record of 33-34, counting the postseason. He was also the team’s head coach when the team’s infamous “Love Boat” scandal hit in 2005, which made a less-than-favorable impression on the team’s new owner, Zygi Wilf. Despite getting the Vikings to a 9-7 final mark in a season that started at 2-5 (with a backup quarterback after the career-altering injury to Daunte Culpepper), Wilf almost fired Tice before he could make it back to the locker room after the season finale at the Metrodome that year.
I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Tice. I think he was the victim of lousy ownership that didn’t want to spend any money on anything, and was spiteful enough to trade Randy Moss away as his final “eff you” to the fans and the franchise after not getting the new stadium he wanted in the Twin Cities. . .and being unable to move the team anywhere else. In Tice’s final season, coach Steve Loney served as both the team’s Offensive Line coach and the Offensive Coordinator. That’s pretty ridiculous. . .I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen another team do that. I think under an actual owner that cared about the product on the field, Tice could have been more successful.
Tice has had some other jobs coaching offensive lines and even spent a year as the Offensive Coordinator in Chicago, but never got another head coaching opportunity.
So, if this is the end of the road for Mike Tice, we’d like to wish him the best in his future endeavors.