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Bud Grant, the stoic and demanding Hall of Fame coach who took the Minnesota Vikings and their mighty Purple People Eaters defense to four Super Bowls in eight years and lost all of them, died Saturday. He was 95.
The Vikings announced Grant’s death on social media.
“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 post said. “We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.”
Wearing his trademark purple Vikings cap and a stone-faced demeanor, Grant’s steely sideline gaze became synonymous with his teams. He was a mainstay among coaches of his era, a decorated group that included Don Shula, Tom Landry, Chuck Noll, John Madden and Hank Stram. Grant, however, had little interest in accolades.
“The only reason I can see for a head coach getting credit for something good is that he gets so much blame when something is bad,” Grant once said. “The whole secret, I think, is to not react to either the good or the bad.”
He guided the Vikings from 1967-85, with a one-year hiatus in 1984, on his way to a 158-96-5 record with 11 division championships in 18 seasons. He went 10-12 in the playoffs. When he retired, Grant was eighth on the NFL’s all-time victory list.
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