Former Vikings coach Bud Grant passed away at the age of 95 on Saturday prompting an outpouring of memories and love for the Minnesota legend.
The state of Minnesota was in mourning on Saturday with the news of former Vikings head coach Bud Grant’s passing at 95 years old.
Grant was a giant on the Minnesota sports scene. He coached the Vikings from 1967 to 1983 and again in 1985. Lifting the team to new heights with his tough approach to coaching, he led them to the 1969 NFL championship. He made it to the Super Bowl four times with the team but never broke through with a win.
“We are absolutely devastated to announce legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant has passed away this morning at age 95,” the Vikings tweeted the news on Saturday.
We are absolutely devastated to announce legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant has passed away this morning at age 95.
We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news. pic.twitter.com/z2NNlNAY44
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) March 11, 2023
Vikings fans, former players and other admirers took to Twitter to express their grief over Grant’s passing and to share what he meant to the sports world.
Vikings fans shared memories and love after Bud Grant’s passing
RIP Coach Grant. One of my favorite memories of the legend. Walking to midfield for the coin toss in a golf shirt…and it’s -6 air temperature. pic.twitter.com/fm76IaORd8
— Jay Olstad (@jayolstadtv) March 11, 2023
If the winter materialized into a human man, that man would be Bud Grant. Not only did he rescue the Vikings from terminal irrelevance, he build a framework and culture that permeates to this day. He *is* the Vikings, and will continue to be the Vikings posthumously. RIP Bud. pic.twitter.com/H7NbzmX6jm
— Luke Braun (@LukeBraunNFL) March 11, 2023
RIP Bud Grant. A wonderful man. Welcomed me to the Vikings with kind words and encouragement
Later that season in one of the coldest playoff games in NFL History, he walked out for the coin toss in just a polo. Head high, chest out, eyes blazing
Absolute Legend https://t.co/6LdKFbMCF8
— Rob Rodriguez (@CoachRod_FB) March 11, 2023
Bud Grant! What else can you say? The ultimate HC & a man that gave me an opportunity to Flip the Field for @Vikings for 10 years we had a special bond of mutual respect & admiration. Will never forget our private moments. @ProFootballHOF. Rest Well Old Trapper! pic.twitter.com/s9OfHIVBOu
— Greg Coleman (@gregcoleman8) March 11, 2023
For me, football was best in the 70’s. On a snowy Sunday in Minnesota. The Purple People Eaters. Nothing could ever be better.
Bud Grant was a legend, a great coach, and a gentleman in every sense of the word. Rest in peace Coach, thanks for all those unforgettable games. pic.twitter.com/EdkH8I83CI
— Mike Greenberg (@Espngreeny) March 11, 2023
Nobody represented being Minnesotan more than Bud Grant. He’s up there with Prince on the Mt. Rushmore of homegrown iconic Minnesota legends. https://t.co/BoH2TpDWRv
— Josh Hill (@jdavhill) March 11, 2023
Vikings Win Percentage,
Before Grant = 6th-Worst
With Grant = 5th-Best
After Grant = 9th-Best
He fixed a poor program. Maintained its success for 18 years. And set the standard for now.
The Vikings are the Vikings because of Grant.
— Dustin Baker (@DustBaker) March 11, 2023
Bud Grant was bigger than a coach. For people my age (53), he was a legend. Lombardi-like in how his presence owned the sideline. And that’s not factoring in an older generation who knew him as a legendary athlete. Bud Grant was Minnesota.
— Judd Zulgad (@jzulgad) March 11, 2023
I literally have tears…
A man that literally exemplified the word Vikings and made me a fan of the team.
Rest in Peace Bud Grant. Thank you for the memories.
— Kevin McMahon (@McDegoViking) March 11, 2023
Grant was born in Wisconsin but he played for Minnesota in college. He was selected by the Eagles in the first round of the 1950 NFL draft but he left after a couple of years to join the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League.
His playing days in Winnipeg quickly shifted to coaching as he took over as the Blue Bombers’ head coach in 1957. He went on to win four Grey Cups before the Vikings came calling in 1967.
While he retired in 1985 with a 158-96 record, he remained deeply involved in the franchise as a consultant up until his passing. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.
Fans across social media recalled his toughness, especially against the cold northern winters. When he was 88 years old, he famously wore a short-sleeved shirt to midfield for a pregame coin flip when it was minus-six degrees outside.