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Legendary Vikings head coach Bud Grant dies at 95

Fans, friends, family reflect on legacy of Bud Grant
Fans, friends, family reflect on legacy of Bud Grant 04:14

MINNEAPOLIS -- Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant, who guided the team to four Super Bowl appearances, has died at the age of 95.

Known for his stoicism and toughness, Grant served as head coach for the team from 1967-1983, and then again in 1985.  He led the Vikings to 11 NFC/NFL divisional championships throughout his tenure.

Grant found fame at the University of Minnesota before he played professionally for the Minneapolis Lakers.

He came to the Vikings after 10 years with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League. He is the first person to be elected to both the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football League Hall of Fame.

"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 Vikings wrote on Twitter.

Memories and condolences are pouring in from players and fans alike. Many brought up the moment when Bud Grant went out to do a coin toss for a 2016 Vikings-Seahawks game wearing a polo shirt, even though it was well below zero that day at Huntington Bank Stadium. 

"No single individual more defined the Minnesota Vikings than Bud Grant," the Wilf Family wrote. "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."

The statement continues:

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 imporantly, 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. 

SUPER BOWL VIII - Miami Dolphins v Minnesota Vikings
HOUSTON, TX - JANUARY 13, 1974: Head coach Bud Grant of the Minnesota Vikings runs onto the field with the team prior to Super Bowl VIII on January 13, 1974 against the Miami Dolphins at Rice Stadium in Houston, Texas. The Dolphins beat the Vikings, 24-7 to win the professional football World Championship. Getty Images

Current Vikings General Manager Kwesi Adofo-Mensah said Grant was "one of the most innovative, talented and wise people in the history of the NFL. His commitment to diversity, while not talked about enough, was ahead of his time and provided so much opportunity for others."

Looking back on Bud Grant's life and legacy 06:42

"Bud Grant was a giant. He made a generational impact on Minnesota sports. Rest in peace, coach," Gov. Tim Walz wrote on Twitter.

"Today my heart is with all those who knew and loved Bud," Sen. Amy Klobuchar wrote.

It was not just the Vikings he touched, he and his wife, Pat, raised six children.

"Thank you for the endless wisdom, grandpa," granddaughter Natalie Grant wrote in a tweet. "Give dad and grandma a big hug from me."

In the 80s, Grant hosted a popular Sunday night show on WCCO with Mark Rosen, retiring at age 58.

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