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Vikings Legends Honor Bud Grant's Legacy

Fran Tarkenton and Bud Grant
Fran Tarkenton and Bud Grant

Pro Football Hall of Fame and Vikings Ring of Honor Head Coach Bud Grant passed away at his home Saturday, March 11. He was 95.

Grant's legacy is one that impacted countless from coast to coast and across the Canadian border.

View photos of Vikings head coach and Pro Football Hall of Famer Bud Grant.

Years after his final season on the sidelines (1985), Grant remained connected to the current organization, and those who played for him continued to lean on lessons and inspiration from their time together.

Vikings Legends shared their thoughts to honor Grant's legacy.

View photos of Vikings Legend Bud Grant during his time with the team following his career as head coach.

Jim Marshall

As a coach, as a friend, as a man, I loved him. It truly breaks my heart to know that I will no longer have his counsel. He will be missed by all of Minnesota. And especially those of us who were blessed with decades of friendship and camaraderie with him. My condolences to his entire family.

Fran Tarkenton and Bud Grant
Fran Tarkenton and Bud Grant

Fran Tarkenton

My coach, my lifelong mentor, my great friend has just passed minutes ago. I am totally heartbroken and grieving. Everything he said made sense. He always trusted me as a QB. I've talked to him every month for 45 years, and he always had new ideas. I never visualized this day. I've never felt helpless in my life, but I am now.

Linda just reminded me that a few weeks ago I asked him, 'What do you like doing these days … hunting, fishing, what?' He said, 'Yes some of that, but I really like doing nothing.'

He will be, going forward, in my thoughts and prayers every day of my life. He will continue to be my inspiration and hero forever.

He has now physically left this world, but he will continue to be my coach.


Alan Page

Before Bud got to Minnesota the team was more interested in the fight than winning the game. Bud brought order and discipline to where there had been chaos. What you saw was what you got with him. He also brought a process and system to the chaos, and it worked. He didn't do anything with magic, but instead with common sense.

Ron Yary and Bud Grant
Ron Yary and Bud Grant

Ron Yary

I remember Francis one time summed it up the best possible way. He said, 'If you can't play for Bud, you can't play for anybody.' Everything that any player had going on in their lives that was a problem or giving them trouble evaporated when they came around the team, and that was Bud's greatest strength. The team became a place of respite for them. Bud could make you focus on the task and on your teammates, and all of the other stuff disappeared. That was his secret to winning. Bud was the most fair and just man that ever coached.

2016 Vikings Hall of Fame player dinner at U.S. Bank Stadium
2016 Vikings Hall of Fame player dinner at U.S. Bank Stadium

Paul Krause

I'll always remember Bud as being just such a strong person. He's one of the best people I've ever met, just a super, human being. This is like losing a family member because that's how Bud made you feel.

Joey Browner and Bud Grant
Joey Browner and Bud Grant

Joey Browner

He is the reason I am who I am. He drafted me and believed in me.

I wouldn't have been able to have the platform I have without him. He was my coach, and I was his last [Pro Bowl player] in his retirement year – so for him to think that much of me truly is a blessing.

The history of the Vikings would not be as rich and historic without the name of Bud Grant.

It was truly a blessing to have been with him a few weeks ago and him speak so highly of me – it meant so much to me. Of all the things he could have spoken about, he spoke about me, and I will never forget that.

I will miss him deeply!