MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- George O'Leary was promoted to defensive coordinator of the Minnesota Vikings, replacing the fired Willie Shaw.
O'Leary, who resigned as coach at Notre Dame after just five days in 2001 when he admitted he lied on his resume, was officially assigned Wednesday to take over a defense that ranked 26th in the NFL this season.
"We've decided to go in another direction and make a change as it pertains to philosophy, schemes and technology," Vikings coach Mike Tice said.
O'Leary said his defense will be one based on aggression and pressure.
"I'm elated to get this news, but I also have great respect for Willie Shaw," said O'Leary, who got the news Tuesday night. "The head coach has to make decisions on what he thinks is best for the team. I'm elated for him to think I'm the person to help."
Shaw, Minnesota's secondary coach in 1992 and '93 and assistant head coach in 2001, was in San Francisco to scout the East-West Shrine game and not immediately available for comment.
The Vikings ranked 10th in the league against the run and 29th against the pass this season.
Tice hired O'Leary, his coach at Central Islip High School in suburban New York, to be his assistant and supervise Minnesota's defensive linemen just weeks after his admission that he lied about academic and athletic accomplishments.
O'Leary was the head coach at Georgia Tech for eight years before his hiring at Notre Dame. It lasted less than a week because he falsely stated -- when hired as an assistant at Syracuse in the early 1980s -- that he had a master's degree in education from New York University and earned three letters as a player at New Hampshire.
Pete Bercich will be the Vikings' assistant defensive line coach, and Chuck Knox Jr. will take over as defensive backs coach after sharing that role with Shaw, the team announced Wednesday.
The Vikings also hired former NFL safety Kevin Ross as assistant secondary coach.
Last weekend, Tice eliminated the job of quarterbacks coach Alex Wood and added the title to offensive coordinator Scott Linehan's duties. Linehan worked closely with quarterback Daunte Culpepper this season.
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