The football world lost a great man when Bud Grant, age 95, passed away. He is a titan in the professional world of sports as well as in Minnesota specifically. What many people may not realize is that he was a professional athlete in basketball along with football.
University Of Minnesota- Football, Basketball, and Baseball
His spot in Minnesota sports lore began with him attending the University of Minnesota while being a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, and baseball. He impressed as a player, and it was clear he was professional caliber in multiple sports.
Minneapolis Lakers- Basketball
After his college career ended he was drafted by the Minneapolis Lakers in the 1950 NBA Draft. He only played two seasons in the league but he was a league champion during that 1950 season.
Philadelphia Eagles and Winnipeg Blue Bombers- Football
He was not particularly productive as a professional football player. He did spend two years with the Philadelphia Eagles before spending several seasons with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League (CFL). His NFL career totals were 56 receptions, 997 receiving yards, and seven receiving touchdowns.
Coaching Career (Winnipeg Blue Bombers-CFL)
He retired from the CFL in 1956 and became the head coach of the same team he played on that very next season in 1957. He continued coaching with them through the 1966 season. He compiled an impressive 102-56-2 record over his time there.
He was able to win the Grey Cup (CFL Championship) four times while he was coaching the Blue Bombers.
Coaching Career Cont. (Minnesota Vikings-NFL)
After coaching in the CFL he went over to the NFL where he had a regular season record of 158-96-5 as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings between 1967-1983 and 1985.
He could only win one NFL championship in 1969 but led the Vikings to four Super Bowl appearances, 11 division titles, and three National Football Conference championships.
Life After Coaching
Even after he wasn’t the head coach of the Vikings he continued to influence sports in Minnesota more than some may realize.
Eden Prairie High School-Mike Grant
He had six kids with his wife Pat, one of them being Mike Grant.
He has a prolific coaching career himself but in his case, it is in the realm of high school football.
He has been the head coach of Eden Prairie High School’s football team since 1992. Throughout his time there he has led them to 11 state championships, and his success continues the legacy of the Grant family.
Seattle Seahawks- Pete Carroll
His legacy continues in the NFL, with his fantastic coaching tree, as seven of his assistants have gone on to be head coaches. The most famous/well-respected of them is the Seahawks’ current head coach, Pete Carroll.
Bud Grant continued to be a strong influence in the Minnesota sports sphere until his death on March 11, 2023. He was listed as a consultant for the Vikings from 1986 until he died in 2023. He was entrenched in the Minnesota sports community for his entire sporting career.
He was a great man with many great accomplishments and our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time.
RIP to a great man that will live in Minnesota sports lore forever.
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