Mike Zimmer away from Vikings to be with his father


An emotional Mike Zimmer told Vikings players and coaches Monday that he wouldn't be in Mankato Tuesday because he needed to fly to Naples, Florida, to be with his ailing father, the Pioneer Press reports.

Bill Zimmer, 84, coached Mike in football and wrestling in high school, according to ESPN. The Daily Journal adds that Bill was inducted into the Illinois High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame in both sports. The association's official website says he was enshrined in 1986.

Bill is also in the Bradley University coaching hall of fame, and both he and Mike were inducted into the Lockport High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2010.

In a recent interview with Brian Murphy of the Pioneer Press, Mike said his favorite childhood memory was "probably playing for my dad."

"It's heartbreaking to hear things about how close you are to your dad," Vikings backup running back Matt Asiata said Monday, via the Pioneer Press. "I really hope he's doing good. I wish the best for he and his dad. I hope he gets better."

Asiata's father was killed in 2013 when the bus his father was driving collided with a utility vehicle in Utah.

Offensive coordinator Norv Turner will run Tuesday's morning walk-thru in Mankato and the night practice at Blakeslee Stadium. The Vikings are off Wednesday before returning to practice in Mankato Thursday and Friday.

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