Mike Tice will coach the Minnesota Vikings again in 2005.

The team picked up Tice's $1 million option to coach next season, despite a second straight late-season fade by the club.
Owner Red McCombs gave Tice the news in a phone call Monday. The Vikings have lost six of their last nine games, but at 8-7 still have a shot at the playoffs.

"Although our expectation of winning the division was not met, we feel that the program Mike Tice has guided gives us the talent base to have to success today and in the future," McCombs said in a statement. "Our expectations are high for the upcoming playoffs and for next year."

Tice has posted a 23-25 record since replacing Dennis Green before the final game of the 2001 season. He would have become a free agent Jan. 31 if the club failed to exercise the option by Saturday — the day before Minnesota's regular season finale at Washington.

"I think it will be good for the players, because they won't have to hear (about the contract) all week," Tice said.

In addition to coaching, Tice is also in charge of football operations, which includes budgeting for the scouting and coaching department and assorted other assignments. He's had to juggle this with a budget that has not increased in a couple of years despite inflation and new technology in the football world.

FOXSports.com's Jay Glazer contributed to this report.