Mike Tice: Chronicling the Former Seattle Seahawk

Zachary HabnerCorrespondent IMay 31, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 2:  Head coach Mike Tice of the Minnesota Vikings calls from the sidelines against the Seattle Seahawks on September 2, 2004 at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

My fourth installment of chronicling the careers of former Seattle Seahawks follows former Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Tice.

Many know that Mike Tice was the head coach with the Minnesota Vikings from 2001-2005. He led the Vikings to a 32-33 career record in five seasons as head coach including three career playoff games.

Before he became a head coach however, he was a former tight end in the NFL with the Seattle Seahawks. Tice came to Seattle out of the University of Maryland in 1981 where he was a quarterback for the Terrapins. Tice came into the NFL as a tight end.

In his rookie season Tice played in all 16 games for the Seahawks where he managed to grab only five passes for 47 yards.

Tice had his best season statistically for the Seahawks in 1988. He hauled in 29 passes for 244 yards, averaging 8.4 yards a catch. Tice had his most touchdown receptions in 1991 with the Seahawks with four.

Tice left the Seahawks for one season in1989 to join the Washington Redskins. In his only season as a Redskin he played the 16 games, but had only one reception for two yards.

Tice came back to the Seattle Seahawks in 1990 and played with the team until 1992, where he went to play for the Minnesota Vikings for two seasons before retiring in 1993. He was coaxed out of retirement in 1995 to play for the Vikings again due to injuries. 

After year after his playing career ended Tice began his coaching career. In 1996 he was hired to coach the tight ends for the Minnesota Vikings. A year later, Tice began coaching the offensive line. 

Although he gained the reputation of being a tough coach, Tice managed to coach five different players to 10 pro bowl appearances: Randall McDaniel, Jeff Christy, Todd Steussie, Korey Stringer, and Matt Birk. 

Birk was the only Viking chosen to the pro bowl in 2001. Tice had the pleasure of coaching the offensive line in the Vikings’ record breaking 1998 campaign.

Mike Tice inherited the coaching job in the final game of 2001, replacing Dennis Green.  He was not named the official head coach till January 10th, 2002. He become the first former Vikings player to coach the team later in his career.

In his first season the Minnesota Vikings finished 6-10 although they finished winning their final three games. In Tice’s second season the Vikings opened the season 6-0, but they struggled in the next 10 games. 

They missed out on the playoffs on the final play of final game in 2003 as Arizona Cardinals receiver Nate Poole gave the Cardinals an 18-17 victory. Green Bay won the division finishing the season with a 10-6 record, Minnesota finished 9-7.

2004 had the same tune has 2003 did as the Vikings finished their last 10 games 3-7.  However, the Vikings became the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs with a .500 record. 

They then became the second team in NFL history to win a playoff game with a .500 record by defeating the Green Bay Packers 31-17 in Lambeau Field. The only other .500 team to win a playoff game did it a day earlier as the 8-8 St. Louis Rams defeated the Seattle Seahawks 27-20.

Minnesota then lost the next week to the eventual NFC Champion Philadelphia Eagles 27-14.

2005 began with Tice admitting he was involved in a Super Bowl ticket scalping operation with the organization. Tice was fined a then record $100,000. 

The Vikings struggled to a 2-5 record, only to end up finishing 9-7, one game short of the playoffs. The season also involved the “love boat” scandal. Tice was fired at the end of the season.

Tice was hired as the Jacksonville Jaguars tight ends coach where he remains today.

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