Prior to coming to UAB, Zimmerman served the previous four years as head coach at Dardanelle High School in Dardanelle, Arkansas. Zimmerman compiled a 74-46 record in his four years at DHS. His 2000 team advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament in class AAA and finished the season ranked No. 7 in the state with a 24-11 record. He also took DHS to the state tournament in 2001 with a 17-10 mark.
In his final season, Zimmerman led Dardanelle to an 18-12 record and earned the 4AAA District tournament championship. Zimmerman was named 4AAA District Coach of the Year following the 2000 season. In his last three seasons, his Sand Lizards twice upset Arkansas' No. 2 and No. 3-ranked teams. He was named the KARV Dream Team Coach of the Year and River Valley Radio Coach of the Year in 2000.
From 1995-98 Zimmerman was Athletics Director and head basketball coach at Plainview-Rover High School in Plainview, Ark. There he led the team to three 4B South Conference titles. He was chosen the Outstanding Boys Coach of the 4B South Conference in 1996. Zimmerman also coached the girls team which advanced to the Class B State Tournament in 1997 and finished ranked No. 10 in the state.
Zimmerman spent three years, 1987-90, as head manager and a student assistant at Arkansas under Razorback head coach Nolan Richardson. While there, the Razorbacks won two Southwest Conference championships, two Southwest Tournament championships and made three NCAA Tournament appearances during that span. The 1989-90 Razorbacks went 30-5 and advanced to the NCAA Final Four. He has also worked with the Razorback Basketball Camp as an administrator and coach from 1986-2001.
Zimmerman served in the U.S. Army from 1990-95, reaching the rank of captain. He graduated from the U.S. Army Airborne School in 1991. He was a member of the 1st Infantry Division (The Big Red One) from 1991-95. He also served as Platoon Leader, shop officer, company executive officer and Battalion S-1 during his Army career.
Zimmerman graduated from Wonderview High School (Ark.) where he was a standout for the basketball team. While on the team, they had a combined 133-19 record in four years, capped off by a 36-4 record and a state runner-up finish his junior season (1985). He graduated with honors and was the student council president. He earned his bachelor's degree in physical education from Arkansas in 1990.