In Bud Grant's 18 years as head coach of the Minnesota Vikings from1967 through 1983 and a one-year final stint in 1985, his teams compiled a .620 winning percentage (158-96-5) in regular-season play. His 168 coaching triumphs, counting 10 post-season wins, place him among the all-time greatest coaches.
At the time of his retirement, only George Halas, Don Shula, Tom Landry, Curly Lambeau, Chuck Noll, Chuck Knox and Paul Brown had engineered more wins in pro football play. Grant, who had just completed a 10-year -tenure as head coach of the highly successful Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League, took over the Vikings in 1967.
In just his second season in 1968, he launched the Vikings on a string of championship seasons rarely equaled in sports competition. From 1968 through 1978, the Vikings won the NFL/NFC Central Division 10 times in 11 seasons, missing only in 1972. During that span, the Vikings won the 1969 NFL championship and NFC titles in 1973, 1974 and 1976.
Grant's Minnesota teams appeared in four Super Bowls. An NFC Central title in 1980 gave Grant a total of 11 championship teams. Born May 20, 1927, in Superior, Wisconsin, Grant became a nine-letterman athlete at the University of Minnesota. He was a two time All-Big Ten end in football, a two-year baseball star and a three-year basketball regular.
Although a first-round draft choice of the Philadelphia Eagles in 1950, Grant postponed his NFL debut to play for the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA. He played two years with the Lakers, who won the NBA title each year. In 1951, Bud turned to pro football with the Eagles. He played on defense as a rookie and then became the No. 2 pass receiver in the NFL with 56 catches in 1952.