MINNEAPOLIS — Football fans, former and current players, and the Vikings faithful are sharing their tributes after former Minnesota head coach Bud Grant passed away Saturday at the age of 95.
While at the helm of the purple and gold from 1967 until 1983, and then again in 1985, Grant led the team to 11 division titles and four Super Bowl appearances, all of which ended in losses.
While failing to secure a championship title for Minnesota colored a large years-long chapter in Grant's life, it didn't define all of it.
"The Super Bowl is one game and, you know, and that's what it should be. That's what makes it great," Grant told KARE 11's Randy Shaver. "And you can't live on and say, 'Well, we won a Super Bowl or we lost a Super Bowl,' that can't define you, find you or your life or way you live."
Immediately following the news of Grant's passing, tributes started pouring in on social media.
Adam Thielen, who was released from the Vikings after nine seasons with the team on Friday, tweeted "Love you Bud, so thankful for every conversation we have had over the years!"
NFL Hall of Famer Carl Eller shared a picture of himself with Grant in his tribute:
Minnesota punter Greg Coleman, who played under Grant in the '70s and '80s, wrote, "we had a special bond of mutual respect & admiration. Will never forget our private moments."
Other former players, including Tommy Kramer and Chuck Foreman, shared their own posts honoring Grant. "There was not a better coach," Foreman said.
Local Minnesota sports organizations the Minnesota Timberwolves, Minnesota Wild, and the University of Minnesota Gophers, all shared their condolences with Grant's family and fans. Grant, who was born in 1927 in Superior, Wisconsin, attended the U of M where he played football, basketball and baseball.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz called Grant "a giant" who made a "generational impact on Minnesota sports," and Congressman Tom Emmer tweeted that the former coach was the "G.O.A.T."
Sen. Amy Klobuchar tweeted a photo of her and Grant, where she reminisced about how in 2016, as the Vikings prepared to play the coldest game in franchise history, the then-88-year-old completed the pre-game coin toss in a short-sleeved polo. "He gave us so many Minnesota memories," Klobuchar wrote.
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