Leslie Frazier
Frazier in 2021
Buffalo Bills
Position:Assistant head coach & defensive coordinator
Personal information
Born: (1959-04-03) April 3, 1959 (age 63)
Columbus, Mississippi
Height:6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Weight:189 lb (86 kg)
Career information
High school:Lee (Columbus, Mississippi)
College:Alcorn State
Undrafted:1981
Career history
As a player:
As a coach:
Career highlights and awards
As player
As coach
Career NFL statistics
Games played:65
Interceptions:20
Sacks:1
Fumble recoveries:2
Return yards:77
Defensive touchdowns:2
Head coaching record
Regular season:21–32–1 (.398)
Postseason:0–1 (.000)
Career:21–33–1 (.391)
Player stats at NFL.com · PFR
Coaching stats at PFR

Leslie Antonio Frazier (born April 3, 1959) is an American football coach and former cornerback who is the assistant head coach & defensive coordinator for the Buffalo Bills, of the National Football League (NFL). He previously served as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from 2010 to 2013 and previously served as an assistant coach for the Baltimore Ravens, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Philadelphia Eagles.

College career

Frazier played college football at Alcorn State University, where he lined up in the defensive secondary next to Roynell Young.[1]

Professional career

Frazier was a part of the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won Super Bowl XX. During the 1985 championship season, Frazier led the team with six interceptions. His playing career was cut short due to a knee injury he suffered returning a punt in the second quarter of the Super Bowl. During a Super Bowl XX punt return, he suffered a knee injury and was carried off the field. Surgery was conducted by Dr. Bill Clancy of the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the damage revealed to the knee included tears of the anterior cruciate, posterior cruciate, and medial collateral ligaments and a fractured bone under the kneecap. It was initially anticipated that he would be able to return during the latter half of the 1986 NFL season. However by October it was clear he was not going to be able to play for the rest of 1986. His knee never healed completely to the point of making a comeback and was cut by the Bears on August 3, 1987. He was also a member of the "G Crew" in "The Super Bowl Shuffle".

Coaching career

Frazier started his coaching career in 1988 as the first head coach at Trinity College in Illinois, now known as Trinity International University. He held the position for nine seasons, built the NAIA program from the ground up and won a pair of Northern Illinois Intercollegiate Conference titles before he moved on to the University of Illinois in 1997 as the Illinois defensive backs coach.

Philadelphia Eagles

In 1999, Frazier joined first time head coach Andy Reid as defensive backs coach for the Philadelphia Eagles. It was there that Frazier worked as a fellow assistant with the Vikings future head coach, Brad Childress. The Eagles defense improved steadily in the four years that Frazier was there.

Cincinnati Bengals

In 2003, Frazier was hired as defensive coordinator of the Cincinnati Bengals under new head coach Marvin Lewis where he helped turn the unit into a group that increased takeaways from 24 in 2003 to 36 in 2004. The Bengals' 36 takeaways ranked third in the NFL in 2004. The 2004 Bengals notched 20 interceptions, the most since 1996. The Bengals' defense improved from 28th in the league in total yards allowed in 2003 to 19th in 2004, and declined in the two years following his dismissal.

Indianapolis Colts

In 2005, Frazier was hired by Tony Dungy as a defensive assistant for the Indianapolis Colts, receiving the title of special assistant to the head coach as well as defensive backs coach. He was specifically brought in by Dungy to help the Colts' young corps of defensive backs. During his time in Indianapolis the Colts passing defense improved from 15th in 2005 to second in 2006. On February 4, 2007, the Colts beat Frazier's former team, the Chicago Bears, in Super Bowl XLI.

Minnesota Vikings

On February 8, 2007, Frazier became the defensive coordinator for the Minnesota Vikings under head coach Brad Childress following the hiring of Vikings defensive coordinator Mike Tomlin by the Pittsburgh Steelers as their head coach. On November 22, 2010, the Vikings fired head coach Brad Childress after the team started 3–7 and named Frazier the interim head coach for the remainder of the 2010 season.[2] Frazier ended the 2010 season with a loss to the Detroit Lions, putting the Vikings in last place in the NFC North. Frazier's record in 2010 was 3–3. On January 3, 2011, the Vikings and Frazier reached an agreement making him the permanent head coach. In his first season as head coach, the rebuilding Vikings went 3–13, their worst season since 1984. On December 5, 2011, Vikings owner Zygi Wilf stated Frazier would return in 2012.[3] In Frazier's second full year as head coach, the Vikings improved to 10–6, making the playoffs.[4] The biggest single-season turn around in Vikings history resulted in Frazier finishing fourth in voting for the NFL Coach of the Year Award and the Vikings exercising their fourth year team option to keep Frazier under contract through 2014.[5] On December 30, 2013, Frazier was fired as the Vikings head coach after a 5–10–1 season.[6]

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Frazier was hired by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to be their defensive coordinator on January 3, 2014. On January 7, 2016, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced that they would not pick up Frazier's 2016 option.

Baltimore Ravens

On January 15, 2016, Frazier was hired by the Baltimore Ravens as their secondary coach.[7]

Buffalo Bills

On January 12, 2017, Frazier was hired by the Buffalo Bills to be their defensive coordinator, reuniting him with new Bills head coach Sean McDermott, whom Frazier worked alongside as assistant coaches for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1999-2002. In Frazier's first year with the Bills, the team made the playoffs for the first time since 1999 and ended what was previously the longest playoff drought in the 4 major North American professional sports leagues.[8] On March 4, 2020, Frazier was promoted to assistant head coach. In Frazier's first year as assistant head coach, the Bills won both their first AFC East title and playoff game since 1995 and made their first AFC Championship Game since 1993, in which they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 38-24.[9]

Potential return to head coaching

Since 2018, several teams around the NFL have considered hiring Frazier as their next head coach. In 2018, he was interviewed by his former team, the Indianapolis Colts for their vacant head coaching spot, before the team hired Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Frank Reich on February 11, 2018.[10] In 2021, he was nearly hired by the Houston Texans as their next head coach, a spot that eventually went to Baltimore Ravens assistant head coach David Culley on January 27, 2021.[11] In 2022, Frazier was interviewed for multiple head coaching vacancies for teams such as the New York Giants,[12][13] Miami Dolphins,[14] and the Chicago Bears,[15] whom he previously played for from 1981-1985 and won Super Bowl XX with the team. Frazier was nearly hired by the Giants in 2022 before the job was eventually handed to Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll on January 28, 2022. Frazier hasn't held a head coaching position since 2013, which was his 3rd and final year as the coach of the Minnesota Vikings.

Head coaching record

Team Year Regular season Postseason
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
MIN* 2010 3 3 0 .500 4th in NFC North
MIN 2011 3 13 0 .188 4th in NFC North
MIN 2012 10 6 0 .625 2nd in NFC North 0 1 .000 Lost to Green Bay Packers in NFC Wild Card Game
MIN 2013 5 10 1 .344 4th in NFC North
Total 21 32 1 .398 0 1 .000

* – Interim head coach

References

  1. ^ "Alcorn State Graduate Leslie Frazier Named Interim Head Coach of Minnesota Vikings". HBCU Sports. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  2. ^ "Vikings fire coach Brad Childress". ESPN.com. November 22, 2010. Retrieved November 22, 2010.
  3. ^ "Hartman: Wilf says Frazier will be back next year". Star Tribune.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 3, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Vikings Exercise Option On Frazier's Contract For 2014 Season".
  6. ^ "Vikings fire Leslie Frazier". Fox News Channel. December 30, 2013. Retrieved December 30, 2013.
  7. ^ Zrebiec, Jeff (January 15, 2016). "Ravens hire ex-Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier to run secondary in defensive staff shake-up". The Baltimore Sun. Retrieved May 23, 2016.
  8. ^ Brown, Clifton (January 12, 2017). "Ravens secondary coach Leslie Frazier will be Bills' defensive coordinator". NBC Sports Washington. Retrieved November 21, 2017.
  9. ^ Smith, Michael David (March 4, 2020). "Bills promote Leslie Frazier to assistant head coach".
  10. ^ "AP source: Colts seek Bills' permission to interview Leslie Frazier". Fox Sports. February 8, 2018. Retrieved February 8, 2018.
  11. ^ "Texans to interview Leslie Frazier after AFC title; Bills coordinator in play for next Houston head coach". January 23, 2021. Retrieved January 23, 2021.
  12. ^ "Giants interview Bills' Leslie Frazier for vacant coach job". Sportsnet. January 22, 2022. Retrieved January 22, 2022.
  13. ^ "Leslie Frazier will have second interview with Giants". NBC Sports. January 25, 2022. Retrieved January 25, 2022.
  14. ^ "Report: Dolphins request interview with Leslie Frazier". NBC Sports. January 12, 2022. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  15. ^ "Chicago Bears interview Leslie Frazier for head coach job". Chicago Tribune. January 16, 2022. Retrieved January 16, 2022.