MINNEAPOLIS — Hall of Fame and former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant died Saturday morning at 95 years old.
Grant spent time in the Canadian Football League (CFL) and National Football League (NFL) as a player, coach and executive spanning nearly eight decades.
The team announced the coach's death in a Twitter post today.
"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 team said. "We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news."
Grant attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in the 1940s, playing football, basketball and baseball.
He excelled in all three, but football was his strongest sport, which he eventually went pro in.
According to the Minnesota Vikings' website, Grant played six years of pro football with the CFL's Blue Bombers from 1953-1956, and the NFL's Philadelphia Eagles from 1951-1952.
Grant hung up his cleats in '56 and turned to coaching. He spent 10 years as the head coach for Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the CFL, leading the team to six conference championships and six Grey Cups — the league's championship trophy.
After having a successful coaching career, Grant went back across the border to where his collegiate football career began.
Grant was the head coach for the Minnesota Vikings for 18 seasons, leading the franchise to all four of their Super Bowl appearances, and 11 division titles. He coached the Vikes from 1967-1983 and in 1985.
In 1994, Grant became the first person ever to be elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame (1994) and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame (1983).
Coach Grant was inducted into the Vikings Ring of Honor on Nov. 8, 1998, the Vikings website said.
Minnesota Vikings owners Zygi Wilf and Mark Wilf, and the rest of the Wilf family released the following statement on Saturday:
"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. His commitment to the Vikings never wavered as he was a mainstay in our facility, spending time with coaches and staff in his office on a regular basis. We cherished the times we had together, listening to his tremendous stories and soaking up his knowledge of the game. Most importantly, we are thankful we were able to get to know Bud on a personal level and see first-hand his love for his family. We join members of the Vikings organization, the generations of players Bud impacted, the people of Minnesota and the entire NFL in mourning this monumental loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with Bud's family and friends in this difficult time."
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