Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant has died at the age of 95, the Minnesota Vikings announced Saturday morning.
Grant coached in the NFL and in Canada for 28 seasons. His teams appeared 20 times in the playoffs with him leading the way.
He led the Vikings to an impressive four Super Bowls, though he never won the Lombardi Trophy.
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«We are absolutely heartbroken to announce that legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant 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 an NFL career regular season record of 158-96-5.
He also won 102 games in the CFL.
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Born Harry Peter Grant Jr., «Bud» joined the Navy during World War II after graduating from high school. He later went on to play soccer at Naval Station Great Lakes. His coach, Paul Brown, would co-found the Cleveland Browns.
Grant went on to have a distinguished athletic career at Minnesota where he excelled in football, basketball and baseball. He was later drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA and the Philadelphia Eagles of the NFL.
Grant took up basketball early on and won a championship with the Lakers. He averaged 2.6 points per game over two NBA seasons.
When Grant made the switch to football, he played defense and offense for the Eagles. He finished his NFL career with 56 receptions, 997 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. In 1952, he joined the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL.
After four seasons with the Blue Bombers, Grant was offered the head coaching job in 1957. He returned to Minnesota in 1967 after a decade coaching in the CFL. In 1969, the Vikings won the NFL championship and advanced to Super Bowl IV, but ultimately suffered a 23-7 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
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As 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 having won a Super Bowl, Grant’s legacy on the Minnesota Vikings is unmatched.