Buffalo Bills defensive coordinator/assistant head coach Leslie Frazier has been a coach in the NFL for 24 seasons, the last five in Western New York as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator.
His commitment to the game and success as an assistant coach were rewarded by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA), who bestowed the 2022 Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award on Frazier as a lifetime achievement award.
Frazier was joined by the late Greg Knapp, former passing game coordinator for the New York Jets, as this year’s recipients of the Dr. Z Award, which was founded in 2014. The honor is named after Zimmerman, who for nearly 30 years was Sports Illustrated’s lead NFL writer.
Under Frazier’s watch, the Bills have captured back-to-back AFC East championships, and last year, his defense was No. 1 in the NFL in both fewest yards allowed and fewest points scored against. Buffalo’s defense has consistently been atop the NFL during Frazier’s tenure, finishing in the top five in total yards allowed in three of the past four seasons.
Frazier, who is entering his sixth season as Buffalo’s defensive coordinator, has also been an assistant head coach for the Bills since the 2020 season.
Before coming to Buffalo, Frazier also coached with the Philadelphia Eagles (1999-2002), Cincinnati Bengals (2003-04), Indianapolis Colts (2005-06), Minnesota Vikings (2007-13), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-15) and Baltimore Ravens (2016).
Frazier won a Super Bowl as a defensive assistant on Tony Dungy’s staff with the Colts for Super Bowl XLI, and was Minnesota’s defensive coordinator from 2007-10 before being named interim head coach for the last six games of the 2010 campaign. He was then elevated to head coach status for the 2011-13 seasons with the Vikings.
Frazier also enjoyed a successful playing career, winning Super Bowl XX as a defensive back on the Chicago Bears’ famed 46 defense.