Dennis Green dies at 67

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Dennis Green, former head coach of the Vikings and Cardinals, has died at the age of 67.

Green became head coach of the Vikings in 1992, instantly leading the team to a playoff berth. In 1998, he coached the team to one of the best offensive performances in league history. The team finished 15-1 and lost to the Falcons at home in overtime of the NFC championship game. Green and the Vikings returned to the NFC title game in 2000.

In all, the Vikings qualified for the playoffs eight times in his 11 seasons with the team — 1992, 1993, 1994, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000.

The Harrisburg, Pennsylvania native served as head coach at Stanford before becoming the Vikings coach. He worked under Bill Walsh at the 49ers before taking over at Stanford.

Green coached the Arizona Cardinals from 2004 through 2006. His final year was the most memorable; the team opened a new stadium and a disappointing Monday night loss to the Bears sparked one of the great post-game press conferences in league history.

Far more memorable for Vikings fans will be Green’s no-hesitation decision to pounce on receiver Randy Moss after the controversial wideout slipped through the first 20 picks of the 1998 draft. The addition of Moss (coupled with an unexpected resurgence in the career of Randall Cunningham) helped the Vikings put together one of the best regular-season performances the NFL has ever seen.

Far more memorable for football fans generally will be Green’s ascension to a head coaching job at a time when hardly any African-American candidates were considered much less hired for those positions. He hired new Hall of Famer Tony Dungy to serve as the team’s defensive coordinator in 1992. In 1996, Dungy became the head coach of the Buccaneers.

100 responses to “Dennis Green dies at 67

  1. I grew up in the 90’s with Denny’s teams, as a Vikings fan this is a sad day. Despite is not always stellar playoff record, he put together a great product with great players (Moss, Carter, etc…).

  2. RIP Dennis Green. Very good Coach.
    The meltdown after the Bears Vs Cardinals of 2006 will forever have a smile on my face as I was going to my grandmother’s funeral the next day.

  3. This makes me sad. Of all the coaches the Bears faced in the NFC Central/North in my memory of football Dennis Green was my second favorite.

    Godspeed good sir, and rest in peace.

  4. Wow, that’s very young. I wasn’t aware he was ill. I always liked him.

  5. Sad to hear…. I enjoyed his passion for the game
    Best wishes to his family in their time of sorrow & need….
    RIP Dennis

  6. Rest in peace, sire. Your contribution here in AZ set the foundation for all that has come after. For that, we will always be grateful.

  7. Too soon! Too sad! He was who we thought he was! Next to Marty Shottenheimer, he was probably the best coach not to win the big one or get to the Super Bowl.

  8. Very underrated for what he did in Minnesota with no franchise QB, even though Viking fans probably thought Culpepper was it during his first year starting. Also, he did a great job of putting talent on this horrible Cardinal franchise up until that point, even though he didn’t get to see the turnaround into what it has culminated in under Arians through to the end. RIP.

  9. Wow…barely got to cash those Social Security checks. He was a very good coach who gave us one of the best post game coaching rants of all time.

  10. RIP Dennis. Another great NFL man who hailed from the great state of Pennsyvania!

  11. joetoronto says:
    Jul 22, 2016 11:58 AM
    No mention of how he died?

    67 is way too young for natural causes.
    Cardiac arrest is what I read.

  12. Thoughts and Prayers go out to his family…

    Sadly, his passing, as well as many others, just go to show you that you should live every moment as if it were your last…you just never know.

  13. Bad to year to be a former Cardinals head coach. First it was Buddy Ryan and now Denny Green.

    Has anybody seen Vince Tobin lately?

  14. 2nd black head coach in the NFL… help pave the way for future coaches.

    8 playoff seasons out of ten as Vikes head coach.

    15 & 1 season win record

    Our thoughts are with family and friends and players who knew him best.

    to then I say, May the sorrow you feel today be soften in the days to come by the strong and wonderful memories you will carry of him in your hearts going forward.

    He heads to the sidelines in heaven now and will be there awaiting you.

    You were a good man Mr. Green and will be missed by many.

  15. Sad to say, but heart disease is one of the scourges of both former players and current coaches. The stress of the coach’s lifestyle would tax anyone’s heart.

    Condolences to his fans, family, friends, and colleagues.

  16. I couldn’t WAIT for Denny Green to leave Minnesota. I HATED how much a nuisance his teams were to my Packers. I will always remember him as an excellent HC, and probably the best coach to not have a ring.

    RIP Denny Green. 🙁

  17. I know a lot of people (and stupid Vikings Fans) disliked him and tried to blame “taking a knee” at half of that NFC Championship game for the failure to win that game.

    I however thought he was a really good coach in a lot of ways, was committed to helping assistants learn and ascend and his own “coaching tree” if you will (Dungy, Billick) went on to success as head coaches too.

    His tenure marked a very successful term of Vikings teams, and I was able to enjoy their at least MAKING the playoffs pretty much every year.

    I think he got a LOT out of players and knew how to adjust schemes/lines/approaches to the available talent to be successful.

    67 is pretty young to die. I’m betting his life of being somewhat obese for most of it did not help in his overall health.

  18. Great coach and enjoyable guy. It’s surprising that his Viking teams made the playoffs 8 of 11 years, it’s just hard to remember that team being good.

  19. There will never be anyone like him, that’s for sure. One of my favorite memories is when he added a chapter to his book, No Room for Crybabies, that threatened to sue the team’s owners unless they agreed to sell the team to him at a greatly reduced price. The alleged transgression was that they had interviewed Lou Holtz to be the team’s coach while Denny was still coaching. Since this was quite a bombshell, the local media understandably wanted to ask him questions about it, but Denny didn’t want to talk about it. His quote was, “If you want to talk about the book, then we’ll talk about the book…which we’re NOT going to do. Then you can do that!”

  20. I will always remember Dennis for maximizing talent from coaches/players that other teams overlooked and undervalued. Dungy, Cunningham, Culpepper, Carter, and Moss were people that Green invested in when others weren’t willing to. He was very good coach and had an offensive mind that was ahead of his time.

  21. Wow! Was he sick?

    Very sorry to see this. He was a much needed breath of fresh air back in 1992 when he was hired by Minnesota, and brought them success.

    Rest in peace, Denny.

  22. @djvh2
    “Can’t remember them being good”?

    What is THAT supposed to mean, dude?
    Do you even FOLLOW football?

    The Vikings have been one of the most successful Franchises in the NFL over the course of their tenure.

    They have been a bit less successful for MAYBE the last 10 years, but even then have won the Division and been in the playoffs.

    Did you start Watching football like 5 years ago?

    Are you like, 18 or something?

    Geeze, the mindless things people Post on this site due to their personal team allegiances.

    An STATISTICAL analysis of the most successful teams during the SuperBowl era has them Eighth.

    “Their 27 playoff appearances are second in the NFL over the time span and they won the division a daunting 18 times. Not to mention, they won four conference championships.”

  23. #1 killer of Humans…
    Heart attack, Heart disease, etc…
    Get checked out, good people!
    So Sorry to learn of this

  24. Remember after the 1997 playoff win over the Giants, after they had played pretty badly most of the game but were able to score near the end, get an onside kick, and score again to win? That was Denny’s first playoff victory after a lot of losses and he may very well have been fired if they had lost that game. 15-1 was the next year so it’s a good thing they kept him. Anyway, during his postgame interview he talked about how great it was to “show his stuff” as a coach. It takes a lot of stones to brag about your own coaching acumen after you won because of a desperation onside kick. Those were entertaining days.

  25. RIP what a great coach he was,and what might have been if Anderson makes that kick

  26. As a Steelers fan, I tip my hat off to the Vikings organization for being one of the first (outside of the Raiders) in taking a chance on hiring an African American coach. Under him came, two coaches, Brian Billick who went to Baltimore and built one of the best defenses in NFL history through hiring Marvin Lewis and of course Tony Dungy with the Tampa 2, one of the best defenses in NFL history. RIP

  27. “2ruefan says:
    Jul 22, 2016 12:43 PM

    “Can’t remember them being good”?”

    That quote is not from what I posted.

    I guess different standards for different team’s fans.

    Anyway – Dennis Green seemed like a great guy and a really good coach too. He had an enjoyable personality and will be missed.

  28. As a Packer fan. my condolences to the family.
    I liked his manner of handling that team. He was hard on his players but unfortunately we were just starting the world of political correctness at the time. His outbursts were considered harsh. If Lombardi was still coaching he would be run out of town for his style.
    RIP Denny. You were what we thought your were, a damn good coach !

  29. RIP Denny. A great man and one of the most under-rated coaches of all time. I was so happy for him when he finally got the Vikings’ job, but it was bittersweet. He had taken Stanford from a lightweight to a top five team in his final year on the farm. That team was loaded with juniors, and he never got to finish what he started. I think Stanford might have won the national championship if Denny had stayed. But then he went to Minnesota and turned them into a dominant team.

  30. He was never a coach for my team, but he seamed like a great trustworthy guy.

    Sincere Regrets to the entire Dennis Green family

  31. God bless you, Coach Green. You did wonders for my Vikings and Purple Nation will never forget that. Rest in peace and say hi to Korey Stringer for me.

  32. Green was a colorful character with a sense of humor. I was never a Vikings fan or Cardinals fan, but I always looked forward to listening to Green talk about games in press conferences and when he was with ESPN for a while before he coached the Cardinals.

    RIP, Dennis. Condolences to Marie and his children.

  33. Couldn’t stand him when he was with the Vikes since they always seemed to have the Packers number. But he was damn good at what he did and it’s just a game. Too young. Hope his family finds some peace.

  34. I couldn’t believe the headline. So very sorry to hear about it. One of my favorites. An excellent coach. Gone way too soon. RIP

  35. I am a long time Packers fan and I would like to offer my sincere condolences to the Green family.
    He was a very good coach and gave Vikings fans lots of fond memories.
    RIP Dennis.

  36. One humorous thing about Dennis Green…. his voice was very similar to Jack Benny’s long time valet on his radio and tv shows, the great Eddie “Rochester” Anderson.
    Anderson was one of the first blacks to get the opportunity to star on a white radio show and Jack Benny made it a point to make sure the scripts on the tv show did not use stereotypes for Anderson’s “Rochester” character.
    I always heard “Rochester” whenever Green spoke, especially when he was excited and his voice became higher. It always made me smile, because I loved “Rochester” and the Jack Benny Show.

  37. Coming from a Pats fan, Denny Green was one of my favorite coaches back when he was with those Moss, Carter, Smith, Cunningham/Culpepper MIN teams.

    Sad news.

  38. When reading the header, I was hoping by chance that there was another Dennis Green associated to football.

    As a lifelong Vikings fan, this was sad to read. RIP Coach, thanks for all your doing for this franchise.

  39. From a Packer fan R.I.P. Mr. Green. One thing I remember about him is I don’t think we ever beat his team up in the Metrodome…ever even in the 96′ Super Bowl year we couldn’t beat them there. Loved the passion shown in the press conference after the loss to the Bears “they are who we thought they were!”

  40. I will always remember his first sentence when he was named Vikings new coach.

    Right out of Blazing Saddles……..

    “There is a New Sheriff in Town”

    Classic……….still cracks me up!

  41. Things happen in threes. Coach Ryan, now Coach Green. Be careful out there Mr Tobin. I met Mr Green once, the day after Pat Tillman was killed, not a word was spoken but we shared a look that words will never describe. RIP Coach.

  42. Thanks for the many memories Denny, may your family find comfort in this difficult time.

  43. filthymcnasty3 says:
    Jul 22, 2016 2:39 PM
    Wide left!!!

    So, a man just died, and this is what you post?

    Maybe when you father passes away, someone will be as respectful as you were here.

  44. Joker, you expected anything different from tha POS filthy? Hes the same guy that makes fun of people dying in the I35 bridge collapse.
    He also makes fun of Korey Stringers death.
    Why he is still allowed to post here is beyond me.
    With any luck, his own death will be a slow and painful one. Karma is funny that way.

  45. He left us too soon and was let off the hook. He didn’t look healthy when he was on NFL Network as an analyst, but I hate that he’s left us way too young.

    My hearts and prayers go out to him and his family.

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