Grant is the only person to have played in the NFL, CFL and NBA
Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant has died at the age of 95, the Minnesota Vikings announced on Saturday morning.
Grant coached in the NFL and in Canada for 28 seasons. His teams appeared in the playoff 20 times with him at the helm.
He piloted the Vikings to an impressive four Super Bowls, although he never won the Lombardi Trophy.
Hall of Fame head coach Bud Grant acknowledges the crowd before speaking as the Minnesota Vikings honor their 1969 team during halftime of the game against the Oakland Raiders at U.S. Bank Stadium on September 22, 2019, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
“We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant has passed away this morning at age 95,” the Vikings said in a statement Saturday. “We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.”
Grant became the first person to be enshrined in the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He compiled a career regular-season record of 158-96-5 in the NFL.
Born Harry Peter Grant Jr., “Bud” joined the Navy during World War II after he graduated from high school. He went on to play football at Naval Station Great Lakes. His coach, Paul Brown, would go on to co-found the Cleveland Browns.
Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings walks off the field after an NFL football game circa 1970 at Metropolitan Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Grant was the head coach of the Vikings from 1967 to 1983 and in 1985. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Grant went on to have an outstanding athletic career at Minnesota, where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was later drafted by the NBA’s Minneapolis Lakers and the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles.
Grant took up basketball at first and won a championship with the Lakers. He averaged 2.6 points per game over two seasons in the NBA.
Head Coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings stands with his team prior to the start of an NFL football game circa 1977. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
When Grant made the change to football, he played on defense and offense for the Eagles. He finished his NFL career with 56 catches, 997 receiving yards, and seven touchdowns. In 1952, he joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.
After four season with the Blue Bombers, Grant was offered the head-coaching position in 1957. He went back to Minnesota in 1967 after a decade of coaching in the CFL. In 1969, the Vikings won the NFL championship and advanced to Super Bowl IV but ultimately suffered a 23-7 to the Kansas City Chiefs.
When the 1983 season came to a close, Grant decided to retire. He was briefly lured out of retirement in 1985 when the Vikings had a disappointing 3-13 season under coach Les Steckel.
Despite never winning a Super Bowl, the legacy Grant left on the Minnesota Vikings is unmatched.