The Vikings Will Honor Bud Grant Throughout the 2023 Season



The Minnesota Vikings family tragically lost legendary head coach Bud Grant on March 11th. The head coach passed away at the age of 95.

In the aftermath of his passing, the Vikings paid tribute to Grant, tweeting a statement that read, “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. We, like all Vikings and NFL fans, are shocked and saddened by this terrible news.”

News came out on Tuesday afternoon that the Vikings will honor Grant throughout the 2023 season. They will wear a patch on their new “Classic Throwback” jerseys during their Week 1 game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The patch will be of Bud’s signature. Take a look:

Vikings Will Honor
Jan 11, 1970; New Orleans, LA, USA; FILE PHOTO; Minnesota Vikings head coach Bud Grant visits with commissioner Pete Rozelle prior to the game against the Kansas City Chiefs for Super Bowl IV at Tulane Stadium. The Chiefs defeated the Vikings 23-7. Mandatory Credit: Malcolm Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Then, throughout the regular season, they will also wear a helmet decal to continue honoring their former head coach.

Bud Grant’s name is a staple of the Minnesota Vikings franchise, and his presence completely flipped the trajectory of Vikings history. he first got into coaching in the CFL with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, and after 10 successful seasons from 1957-66, including four CFL titles, he got his first NFL coaching gig with his hometown Vikings in 1967.

It also ended up being his only NFL coaching job because he spent a whopping 18 seasons coaching the Vikings between 1967-1985, taking over the team just six years into the franchise’s history.

Aug 22, 2019; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN; A statue of Bud Grant is seen outside of Investors Group Field before a game between the Green Bay Packers and the Oakland Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Almost immediately, Grant took a floundering expansion team that had never made the playoffs and turned them into a perennial contender. In just his second year as the head man, Grant led the Vikings to their first playoff appearance in 1968, going 8-6 and winning the NFL Central division.

This was just the beginning for Grant, though. In 10 of 11 seasons from 1968-78, the Vikings made the playoffs. Grant was the mastermind behind the “Purple People Eaters” defense that ravaged the NFL throughout this time period.

The Vikings made all four of their Super Bowl appearances during Grant’s coaching tenure, but unfortunately, a Super Bowl championship was the one feat that Grant couldn’t unlock for the Vikings.

Dec 29, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings former head coach Bud Grant acknowledges the crowd during a ceremony before the game with the Detroit Lions at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings win 14-13. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

In all, over 18 seasons, Grant’s Vikings went a combined 168-108-5 (including playoffs), and he easily holds the record for most wins by a Vikings coach. The Vikings coach with the second-most wins is Denny Green at 101.

Even more incredibly, despite being the longest tenured head coach in Vikings history, Grant’s winning percentage of .607 (again, including playoffs) is also the highest of any Vikings coach other than current head coach Kevin O’Connell (.722).

Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho with a bachelor’s degree in Creative Writing. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.





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