MINNEAPOLIS — Former players and staff are remembering the life of legendary Vikings coach, Bud Grant after he passed away on Saturday.
"It's a sad day but yet it's a day to also pay tribute to a great, great icon," said former Vikings General Manager Jeff Diamond.
Diamond and many others who knew and loved Grant did just that Saturday, while reflecting on cherished memories of times past.
"He holds a very close tie to me in my heart," said Diamond.
Before becoming general manager, Diamond served as the operations director during Grant's tenure.
"Compared to the image that a lot of people have of bud as being very stoic, those that didn't really know him, but bud had a great heart and was very emotional," said Diamond. "I was very honored to attend his hall of fame induction in Canton Ohio back in the mid-nineties that was a very emotional time and I saw the emotion of bud grant come out in that speech."
The emotions being poured out for the beloved coach are somewhat surreal for former Vikings quarterback Tommy Kramer, who attributed his successes to his former coach.
"It's hard you know, somebody that you know, you know so well and they're so genuine and everything," said Kramer.
Kramer and former Vikings defensive tackle Henry Thomas had just spoken with Grant before his passing.
"We were supposed to do an appearance together at Canterbury Downs and last night everybody spoke, he said I'm not feeling well I may not do it tomorrow," explained Thomas.
Hoping he'd pull through and show up, as he did even after his coaching days were over.
"I've always known Bud my whole time here with the Minnesota Vikings, I never played for him but he was in the office, he was always there, he was always a legend to me," said Thomas.
Grant's legacy will seemingly live on through those he leaves behind.
"There's a special place in my heart for Minnesota and Bud's definitely apart of it and he's going to be missed," said Thomas.
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