Bud Grant, a Hall of Fame coach who led the Minnesota Vikings to four Super Bowls in just eight years, has died. He was 95.
The Vikings Confirmed his death with a tweet on Saturday.
“We are absolutely devastated to announce that legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant passed away this morning at age 95,” it read. “We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.”
Grant was the first person to be included in both the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He coached for 28 seasons in both leagues and his teams made the playoffs 20 times, played in 10 championship games and won four titles. His biggest victories have always come in the North, with all of his championship titles won in the CFL.
However, despite being one of the most winning managers in football, he never managed to clinch the Lombardi trophy. Overall, Grant had an NFL regular season career record of 158-96-5. He went 10-12 in the playoffs, and when he retired, Grant was eighth on the NFL’s all-time wins list.
Grant also won 102 games with the Canadian Football League.
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In 1967, Grant replaced another Hall of Famer, Norm Van Brocklin, as the Vikings’ head coach. He managed the team until 1985, with a year’s hiatus in 1984, during which time he assembled a powerful defensive line, dubbed the Purple People Eaters. He emphasized discipline and mental toughness, and was well known for his frigid winter workouts and for banning side warmers during games at Estadio Metropolitano.
“No individual more defined the Minnesota Vikings Than Bud Grant,” Vikings owners Mark and Zygi Wilf and their family said in a statement to ESPN. “A once-in-a-lifetime man, Bud will always be synonymous with success, toughness, the North and the Vikings.”
Grant was born Harry Peter Grant Jr. on May 20, 1927, in Superior, Wisc., and was given the nickname Bud by his mother.
In 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and served in World War II. From there, Grant went on to play football, basketball and baseball at the University of Minnesota, becoming a nine-time letterman who was drafted by both the NBA and NFL.
He initially devoted himself to basketball, playing two seasons for the Minneapolis Lakers and winning a title with them in 1950, before returning to football.
He first played for the Eagles, but a contract dispute landed him with the CFL’s Blue Bombers, a team he would later coach.
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