The Bengals on Thursday announced they have promoted linebackers coach Paul Guenther to replace Mike Zimmer as the team's defensive coordinator.
The Vikings on Wednesday hired Zimmer to be their new head coach.
"Paul has been Zim's right-hand man the last few years, so we're moving in the direction of keeping a good thing going with our defense," Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis said.
"He knows what we do and how we do it and he had a hand in creating it. Paul and I have been mostly together since when we were both on the Redskins staff (in 2002). I've seen him grow over the years and really have sort of been grooming him for this kind of opportunity."
Guenther, 42, is a native of Richboro, Pa. He played linebacker at Ursinus College from 1990-93 and spent seven seasons coaching in college football. His first NFL job was with Washington in 2002.
Guenther has been with the Bengals since 2005 working primarily as an assistant position coach with linebackers, special teams and defensive backs. He's coached linebackers for the last two seasons.
"I'm obviously very excited about this opportunity," Guenther said. "I like the players we have and what we've already done to get a good defensive team in place. I'm looking forward to working with all of them, in a new role for me, and continuing to improve us and make us better.
"I want to thank (Bengals owner) Mike Brown and Marvin for all they've done for me over the years and now for this chance. And I also want to thank Zim for working with me so closely and helping me become a better coach."
Lewis and Guenther will meet the media at 11:30 a.m.
Zimmer's departure came less than a week after Jay Gruden left the Bengals as offensive coordinator to become the Redskins' new head coach.The Bengals promoted running backs coach and former Oakland head coach Hue Jackson to replace Gruden.
In the last 20 years only three teams have seen both coordinators plucked in the same season to become a head coach elsewhere. Those teams are the 1994 San Francisco 49ers, the 2006 Chargers and now the 2014 Bengals.
FOX19 Sports anchor Jeremy Rauch contributed to this story.
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