3 Surprising Facts About Bud Grant, Former Vikings HC, Who Passed Away At Age 95

Bud Grant

Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant died on March 11, 2023, at the age of 95.

Here are three surprising facts about Grant.

1. Grant Is A Member Of Both The CFL And NFL Halls Of Fame

Grant played and coached in both the NFL and CFL.

His playing career was considerably shorter than his coaching career.

He was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 1950 NFL Draft with the No. 14 pick.

After two seasons (1951 and 1952) with the Eagles, he joined the CFL and played for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers until 1956.

In 1957, he became the Blue Bombers’ head coach and that was the beginning of a 25+ year coaching career with the Blue Bombers and then his hometown team, the Minnesota Vikings.

He won over 60% of the games he coached during the course of his career.

Grant’s teams reached the postseason 20 times and played in 10 championship games.

A Super Bowl championship eluded him.

He led the Vikings to the Super Bowl four times in 1970, 1973, 1974, and 1976.

2. Grant Played Two Seasons In The NBA

In 1950, he was drafted in the fourth round with the 47th overall pick by the Minneapolis Lakers.

Grant liked that the Lakers were local, and that likely influenced his initial decision to choose the NBA over the NFL.

He played for the Lakers in 1950 and 1951 and was part of the 1950 NBA Championship-winning team.

3. While Deployed For WW2, He Played For Paul Brown

Grant joined the Navy after graduating from high school in 1945.

While deployed at Naval Station Great Lakes near Chicago, he played football on the team coached by Paul Brown who would one year later become the coach and namesake of the Cleveland Browns.

Grant Was An Icon

Vikings head coach Kevin O’Connell issued a statement sharing his thoughts on Grant.

O’Connell said:

“I am so saddened by today’s news. Before joining the Vikings, I had long known the legacy of Bud Grant, the Minnesota icon who carried himself with class and integrity. From afar, I admired his impact on the Vikings franchise and the NFL. And then I got here, and Bud was one of the first people to warmly greet me when I walked through the doors of this facility. I didn’t realize at the time I would be so blessed to build a close friendship with him over the next year.”

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