Bud Grant, Vikings Head Coach and Hall of Famer, Dies at 95

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Famous names are enshrined in Minnesota Vikings lore for all time.

Paul Krause, Fran Tarkenton, and the Purple People Eaters. They serve as etched reminders of the franchise’s heyday.

Bud Grant, the head coach, was the driving force behind all of that success in the 1960s and 1970s, which included four Super Bowl appearances.

Grant, an NFC dynasty builder and Hall of Famer, passed away early on Saturday, the organisation reported. He was 95.

No one person more embodied the Minnesota Vikings than Bud Grant, according to a statement released on Saturday by Vikings Owner/Chairman Zygi Wilf. “Bud, a once-in-a-lifetime character, will always be associated with achievement, fortitude, the North, and the Vikings. He was, in essence, the Vikings. Bud’s influence on this franchise and this town is impossible to fully capture in words.”

Grant, an NFL Hall of Famer from the Class of 1994, transformed the Vikings into a ruthless team that dominated the NFL/NFC Central. Grant’s Vikings won 10 Central Division championships in 11 seasons between 1968 and 1978.

Grant coached in the NFL for a total of 18 seasons, all with the Vikings, compiling a 158-96-5 record to hold the record for most victories in franchise history. Grant’s Vikings won 11 division championships and earned 12 playoff berths during his career in Minnesota.

Grant, who became synonymous with the Vikings as their illustrious coach, was also a tremendously talented athlete in his own right and a coaching icon in the Canadian Football League.

The only individual in history to have played in the National Basketball Association, Canadian Football League, and NFL is still Grant. Grant was selected in the 1950 NBA and NFL draughts by the Philadelphia Eagles and Minneapolis Lakers, respectively. He eventually played for both organisations before switching to the CFL’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Grant spent his playing career with the Blue Bombers before becoming its renowned coach, guiding the team to four Grey Cup victories and six appearances in the championship game.

Only fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer Marv Levy and Grant have led their teams to victories in both the Grey Cup and the Super Bowl.

Grant earned a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, the Canadian Football Hall of Fame, and the Vikings Ring of Honor when his illustrious playing career came to an end.

Harold Peter Grant Jr. was an outstanding multisport athlete who was born on May 20, 1927, in Superior, Wisconsin.

Grant earned nine letters at the University of Minnesota in baseball, basketball, and football.

Grant participated in two NBA seasons with the Lakers and was a member of the team that won the 1950 NBA title alongside the legendary George Mikan. The Eagles also selected Grant in the first round of the 1950 NFL Draft, but Grant didn’t sign with them until 1951, after he had opted to forgo his career as a basketball player. Before joining the Eagles, Grant spent two seasons there.

Grant captained the Blue Bombers from 1957 to 1966, leading them to the four aforementioned Grey Cup victories and inspiring the construction of a plaque in his honour outside of Winnipeg’s IG Field.

In 1967, Bud Grant replaced Norm Van Brocklin as the second head coach of the Vikings club. The team made it to the playoffs in 1968 and competed in Super Bowl IV in 1969, where they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League.

Throughout his career, Grant was primarily associate with Tarkenton at QB and the Purple People Eaters defensive line, although he signed tough-guy quarterback Joe Kapp to lead the Vikings at the time. Additionally, several Pro Football Hall of Famers, including Tarkenton, Krause, Alan Page, Carl Eller, Mick Tingelhoff, and Ron Yary, played for Grant’s teams.

Page, Eller, Marshall, Larsen, and later Sutherland make up the Purple People Eaters, a key factor in Grant’s squads’ success.

Yet, for the bulk of his career, Grant connects with Tarkenton at QB and the Purple People Eaters defensive line. At the time, Grant had hired tough-guy quarterback Joe Kapp, a CFL transplant like his coach. Tarkenton, Krause, Alan Page, Carl Eller, Mick Tingelhoff, and Ron Yary were all Pro Football Hall of Famers who played for Grant’s teams.

Page, Eller, Jim Marshall, Gary Larsen, and eventually Doug Sutherland made formed the Purple People Eaters, a vital component of Grant’s squads’ success.

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