Mike Zimmer is not one to hold back in press conferences, and he loves to play the tough guy. However, like everyone, Zimmer has a human side to him, and some of the things that happened to him were really tough to deal with.

Zimmer’s worst loss happened in 2009, one of his best years as a coach, where he was voted the Assistant Coach of the Year for the work he did as the Cincinnati Bengals‘ defensive coordinator. That year Zimmer had to go through a personal tragedy off the pitch.

Who is Vikki Zimmer? What happened to Mike Zimmer’s wife?

Vikki Zimmer was the wife of Mike Zimmer. Vikki died of natural causes at her home in 2009. She was 50 years old at the time of her death.     Vikki Zimmer’s death was a tragic moment for the Bengals’ 2009 season. Older tweets from reporters and former players show how sad it was for them at the time:

Vikki Zimmer was always present at the Bengals’ facilities, and was considered the “mom” of the defense because of how closely she was related to the players at the time. After her demise, lots of Bengals players were present at her funeral to give her a final goodbye and offer some comfort to coach Zimmer.

Both Vikki and coach Zimmer lived in Ohio at the time of her death. They met in the late 70s and got married in 1982. The couple had two children, named Adam and Corri.

Zimmer shines through adversity

Even with such personal tragedy, Zimmer still found a way to do his job at a high level. That year, the Bengals were ranked as the fourth-best defense in the league and won their division, losing to the New York Jets in the Wild Card Round.

Zimmer later became the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings, a job he occupies until today. During one of his seasons, he had to go through emergency eye surgery after one of his laminated playcall sheets cut his eye in a windy game against the Chicago Bears. He missed just one game and returned to the sidelines the following week.