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Vikings will lose RBs coach Bieniemy to Colorado after season

Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy confirmed Saturday that he has taken the University of Colorado's offensive coordinator position, the *St. Paul Pioneer Press* reported.

Bieniemy told the newspaper that he would stay with the Vikings until the end of the season.

"We still have a lot of work to do and I owe this to the players, coaches and this entire organization!" Bieniemy said in a text message.

Bieniemy played at Colorado from 1987 to 1990 and is the school's all-time leading rusher. He was the Buffaloes' running backs coach from 2001 to 2002, then had the same job at UCLA from 2003 to 2005, when he tutored current Jacksonville Jaguars star Maurice Jones-Drew with the Bruins.

Bieniemy came to Minnesota in 2006, when coach Brad Childress hired him to be on his first Vikings staff. But Childress was fired last month, and defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier was promoted to interim head coach, leaving the staff's future uncertain.

Under Bieniemy's direction, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson became one of the NFL's best, going over 1,000 rushing yards in all four of his NFL seasons. He has 1,016 yards in 11 games this season.

Bieniemy played nine seasons in the NFL, rushing for 1,589 yards and 11 touchdowns for the San Diego Chargers (1991-94), Cincinnati Bengals (1995-98) and Philadelphia Eagles (1999). He also had 146 receptions for 1,223 yards.

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Word of his second return to the Buffaloes first leaked Thursday, when *The Denver Post* cited ex-coach Bill McCartney and an unnamed source in reporting that Bieniemy had accepted the offensive coordinator job and Washington Redskins tight ends coach Jon Embree would be the head coach.

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn denied Thursday that he already had offered the job to Embree and told The Associated Press he hoped to hire a football coach in the next few days.

Colorado fired coach Dan Hawkins on Nov. 9 after he went 19-39 in four-plus seasons. He was dismissed three days after the Buffaloes blew a 28-point lead at Kansas with 11 minutes to play, the biggest collapse in the program's 121-year history.

Longtime assistant Brian Cabral took over on an interim basis and went 2-1 as the Buffaloes finished 5-7, their fifth consecutive losing season.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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