Grant was born on May 20, 1927, in Superior, Wisconsin, and was given the nickname Bud by his mother. He was a three-sport high school star and learned about the coaching business after enlisting in 1945.
He played on a team at the Great Lakes naval station outside Chicago run by Paul Brown, who would go on to a Hall of Fame career as an NFL coach, executive, and owner.
Grant played football, basketball, and baseball at the University of Minnesota and was drafted by both the NBA and NFL. He pursued basketball first, playing two seasons for the Minneapolis Lakers and winning a title with them in 1950.
Bud Grant Cause of Death: Obituary, Funeral
Bud Grant, the legendary Hall of Fame coach of the Minnesota Vikings, died on Saturday at the age of 95. The cause of his death has not yet been announced. The Vikings shared the news of his death on social media and expressed their grief and shock over the loss.
Grant coached the team from 1967-85, except for a one-year break in 1984, and led them to 11 division championships in 18 seasons. He had a 158-96-5 record and went 10-12 in the playoffs. Grant was known for his stoic sideline demeanor and was part of a decorated group of coaches that included Don Shula, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, John Madden, and Hank Stram.
One of the most remarkable accomplishments of Grant was assembling the Purple People Eaters, a revered defensive line that helped the Vikings reach the Super Bowl in 1970, the final edition of the game before the AFL-NFL merger. However, they lost 23-7 to Kansas City, setting the tone for the infamous run of title game losses to Miami, Pittsburgh, and Oakland from the perceived lesser conference following the 1973, 1974, and 1976 seasons. Despite his team’s losses, Grant remained undeterred and focused on his players’ mental toughness.
Grant was an avid outdoorsman and spent many offseasons on fishing trips in Alaska or hunting expeditions in Arizona. He was a successful coach in the Canadian Football League, where he won four league championships during his ten years in Canada. He became the first person elected to the Hall of Fame in both the CFL and NFL.
Grant was known for his discipline and insistence on sharp mental focus among his players. He even had his players practice standing at attention during the national anthem. He banned sideline heaters during games at Metropolitan Stadium, and famously took the Vikings outdoors in the frigid winter for workouts.