Wilf family: Bud Grant “was the Vikings”

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The NFL lost an icon on Saturday. The Vikings lost the man who best symbolizes what the organization has aspired to be, for decades.

“No single individual more defined the Minnesota Vikings than Bud Grant,” the Wilf family said in a statement. “A once-in-a-lifetime man, Bud will forever be synonymous with success, toughness, the North and the Vikings. In short, he was the Vikings. Words can never truly describe Bud’s impact on this franchise and this community. His commitment to the Vikings never wavered as he was a mainstay in our facility, spending time with coaches and staff in his office on a regular basis. We cherished the times we had together, listening to his tremendous stories and soaking up his knowledge of the game. Most importantly, we are thankful we were able to get to know Bud on a personal level and see first-hand his love for his family. We join members of the Vikings organization, the generations of players Bud impacted, the people of Minnesota and the entire NFL in mourning this monumental loss.”

“Before joining the Vikings I had long known the legacy of Bud Grant, the Minnesota icon who carried himself with class and integrity,” coach Kevin O’Connell said. “From afar, I admired his impact on the Vikings franchise and the NFL. And then I got here and Bud was one of the first people to warmly greet me when I walked through the doors of this facility. I didn’t realize at the time I would be so blessed to build a close friendship with him over the next year. Bud was gracious with his time, meeting in his office weekly to discuss football and life. I will forever cherish those conversations because they made me a better coach, a better husband and father and a better person. It is an honor to lead the same organization he once did, and there is no question Bud’s positive influence will have a lasting impact on me moving forward. My heart goes out to Pat and Bud’s family during this difficult time.”

“I am so fortunate to have been able to spend the last year getting to know Bud Grant,” said G.M. Kwesi Adofo-Mensah. “He was one of the most innovative, talented and wise people in the history of the NFL. His commitment to diversity, while not talked about enough, was ahead of his time and provided so much opportunity for others. His amazing life was one of a kind, being a multi-sport athlete at his beloved University of Minnesota, getting drafted in both the NFL and the NBA, playing in both leagues and ultimately becoming a Hall of Fame head coach in both the CFL and NFL. What’s truly inspiring is that he accomplished all of that while also being committed to his family and to helping others. We should all strive to leave such a lasting mark. Our organization and the Minnesota sports community is forever indebted to Bud Grant. Rest in peace, Bud.”

Grant joined the Vikings in 1967. For 55 years, he was synonymous with the name. He was a living embodiment of the team’s work ethic and resolve. It’s hard to imagine the Vikings without him.

16 responses to “Wilf family: Bud Grant “was the Vikings”

  1. very true. Bud Grant was the face of the Minnesota Vikings. Surprisingly though nothing is named in his honor like Bud Grant Field, Bud Grant stadium, etc. Even our hated rivals from the east have the decency to honor their history and coaches.

  2. Great man, great coach. While deserved, Bud could care less if he had a statue or street named after him; however, if you named your hunting lab after him, he’s likely be impressed.

  3. Thanks for the thrills over the years, Coach. Some truly great games and great players. Four shots at the Big One, but life doesn’t always give you what you wish or work for. Regardless, it’s bean an exciting journey.

  4. philmccracken says:
    March 11, 2023 at 4:06 pm
    What a legacy. He paved the way for future greats, such as Marv Levy.


    He went to four Super Bowls as a coach and won an NBA championship…what have you done other than scraped together the money to buy vinyl siding

  5. January 10, 2016. Vikings hosting the Seahawks in a playoff game outdoors in Minnesota (while US Bank Stadium was being built) and the game time temperature (not wind chill) was -6 degrees. Then an 88-year-old Bud Grant walks out to midfield for the coin toss in short sleeves. Pretty much sums up how tough Harry Peter Grant was. RIP, Coach Grant.

  6. As a lifelong Vikings fan (ora pro nobis), Bud *was* the Vikings for me for 5+ decades. A great collegiate athlete, a two-sport pro, a Hall of Famer in the NFL and CFL, he and Dave Winfield are probably the two most accomplished athletes produced by the University of Minnesota. Yet, he was an even greater family man, coach, mentor, and gentleman.

    I count Jerry Burns, Pete Carroll, and Tony Dungy among his coaching tree. I’m sure there are countless more.

  7. Bud Grant was the embodiment of steady and calm.
    His only on field outburst came against the Bengals, when Tark broke his fibula and Bud felt they needed a spark.
    His retirement at age 54 seemed sudden, but now that i’m older than that, he really retired at the perfect age.
    People are with you till they’re not; remember that life speeds by and slips away even if you live till 95.

  8. philmccracken says:
    March 11, 2023 at 4:06 pm
    What a legacy. He paved the way for future greats, such as Marv Levy.
    Bud Grant was modest and respectful. He was also successful. Basically, he was the antithesis of you.

  9. A sad day for a true class act in our world. He represents the perfect role model of what one should be today. I miss the days he wore short sleeve shirts, the purple Viking baseball cap in frigid conditions. As a Packer fan, he may have been stoic, but he had a great dry sense of humor and will always be a great part of the Black and Blue division battles of the ’60’s and ’70’s. A true legend, Bud Grant, RIP.

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