|Position:||Special teams coordinator|
|Born:||August 21, 1966|
|College:||U.S. Naval Academy|
|As a coach:|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||0–1 (.000)|
Mike Priefer (born August 21, 1966) is an American football coach who is the special teams coordinator for the Cleveland Browns of the National Football League. He has almost two decades of pro coaching experience.
Priefer has held coaching positions for Navy, Youngstown State, Virginia Military Institute, and Northern Illinois at the college level. He has also been an assistant for the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs in the NFL and has held coaching positions for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants. On January 10, 2021, Priefer served as the acting head coach of the Browns and led them to a 48–37 win against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC Wild Card Game.
Priefer is the son of Chuck Priefer, a retired NFL coach and special teams coordinator. He attended the United States Naval Academy, and then served in the United States Navy, serving from 1991 to 1994. He was stationed in the Persian Gulf as a helicopter pilot. He played quarterback and wide receiver at Navy.
For the 2002 season, the Jacksonville Jaguars hired Priefer as a Special Teams Coordinator to replace Frank Gansz. At the end of the season, Tom Coughlin, at the time the head coach of the Jaguars, was fired and replaced with Jack Del Rio while Priefer was replaced with Bill Bates.
Between 2006 and 2008, Priefer coached for the Kansas City Chiefs. He then moved to the Denver Broncos in the AFC.
In 2011, Priefer was hired as special teams coach for the Minnesota Vikings.
In 2014, Priefer was suspended for three weeks after making a homophobic remark, saying something along the lines of "putting all the gays on an island and nuking it." . Former punter Chris Kluwe threatened to sue the Vikings for alleged wrongful termination and religious discrimination by Priefer. Priefer underwent sensitivity training before returning to work.
In January 2019, Priefer took a job as the next Special Teams Coordinator for his hometown Cleveland Browns.
On January 5, 2021, Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski tested positive for COVID-19, and Priefer took over as acting head coach. Because Stefanski could not coach the Browns' playoff game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on January 10, 2021, Priefer served as the acting head coach for the game and led them to a 48–37 win. Stefanski returned on January 14 before the Browns' next playoff game.
Head coaching record
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|MIN*||2016||0||1||0||.000||3rd in NFC North||—||—||—||—|
|CLE*||2020||0||0||0||–||3rd in AFC North||1||0||1.000||Won by defeating Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Wild Card|
- Sports Illustrated (July 1, 2006). NFL Record and Fact. Time Home Entertainment, Incorporated. ISBN 978-1-933405-32-2.
- "Mike Priefer keeps job with Vikings". ESPN, February 6, 2014 - Blair Walsh
- "Minnesota Vikings don't seem too concerned about the preseason struggles of Blair Walsh Eric Oslund". Scout, December 9, 2015
- "Priefer enjoys his week as second-best special teams coach in Mankato". Star Tribune
- "Vikings' Priefer sees ordeal through". Star Tribune, Mark Craig December 6, 2014
- Todd Anton; Bill Nowlin (November 15, 2013). When Football Went to War. Triumph Books. pp. 258–. ISBN 978-1-62368-309-2.
- "Vikings assistant Mike Priefer, a former Navy helicopter pilot, took a special pride in Osama bin Laden mission" Pioneer Press.
- "Mike Priefer (photo and caption)". Chicago Tribune.
- "Ex-copter pilot lands with Jags". By Vito Stellino, Times-Union July 14, 2002
- "Vikings assistant Mike Priefer, a former Navy helicopter pilot, took a special pride in Osama bin Laden mission". March 5, 2011 Twin Cities, Pioneer Press, By Jeremy Fowler
- "Mike Priefer: Learned 'hard lesson'". ESPN, July 24, 2014 - Cullen Loeffler
- "Kluwe: Lawsuit vs. Vikings depends on Priefer investigation outcome". Fox Sports, Brian Hall.
- "Mike Priefer: I think I’m a better man after sensitivity training". NBC Sports.
- Goessling, B. (December 1, 2016). Mike Zimmer of Minnesota Vikings has emergency eye surgery, won't coach Dallas Cowboys game.
- "Kevin Stefanski tests positive for COVID-19; Mike Priefer to serve as acting Head Coach". ClevelandBrowns.com. January 5, 2021. Retrieved March 5, 2021.
- Withers, Tom (January 14, 2021). "Stefanski out of basement, back with Browns after COVID-19". APNews.com. Retrieved March 5, 2021.