Former NFL, NBA champion Grant dead at 95

Former NFL, NBA champion Grant dead at 95 post thumbnail image

Bud Grant, who won NFL and NBA titles and coached the Minnesota Vikings into four Super Bowls, died Saturday, the club announced. He was 95.

“We are absolutely devastated to announce legendary Minnesota Vikings head coach and Hall of Famer Bud Grant has passed away,”

“We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.”

The Vikings statement said.

Grant was a reserve for the 1950 NBA champion Minneapolis Lakers who ended his basketball career in 1951 to join the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, playing as a defensive end and wide receiver.

In 1952, Grant departed for Canada’s Winnipeg Blue Bombers and played for five years in the Canadian Football League before becoming the Winnipeg coach in 1957.

Grant guided the Blue Bombers to four Grey Cup crowns until leaving after the 1966 season to take over the NFL’s Vikings, where he made defensive toughness and stoic expressions trademarks, emphasizing emotional control and banning sideline heaters in the cold outdoor conditions of Minnesota games to better focus his players.

In 1969, Grant coached the Vikings to the NFL title and a berth in Super Bowl IV, where they lost to Kansas City in the final showdown before the American Football League merged with the NFL to launch the modern era of professional American football.

Grant coached the Vikings back to the Super Bowl three more times, but Minnesota was defeated by Miami, Pittsburgh and Oakland.

Grant retired after the 1983 season, but after his replacement Les Steckel went 3-13 the next year, Grant returned in 1985 for a final campaign, going 7-9.

He finished with a career NFL record of 158-96 with five drawn and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1994.

“No single individual more defined the Minnesota Vikings than Bud Grant,”

“A once-in-a-lifetime man, Bud will forever be synonymous with success, toughness, the North and the Vikings. In short, he was the Vikings.

“Words can never truly describe Bud’s impact on this franchise and this community.”

Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said.

Source: AFP

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