2012 Morrie Miller Athletic Foundation Banquet
BUD GRANT, GUEST SPEAKER
Bud Grant holds a notable place in the history of the Vikings franchise but also in the state of Minnesota. An icon of the sport and the team, Grant and the Vikings were synonymous for his 18 seasons as head coach of the club.
Grant retired as the winningest head coach in team history following the 1985 season, capping a career that would be honored with induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame less than a decade later. Grant's place among the giants of the game is marked by a career regular season record of 158-96-5, winning 11 division titles in his 18 seasons and leading the Vikings to the Super Bowl 4 times.
Grant's coaching career began in the Canadian Football League in 1957 with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Grant moved to the sideline for 10 seasons (1957-66) immediately after retiring as a player for the Blue Bombers from 1953-56 where he played both ways as a WR/DB and was a Western Conference All-Star 3 times. During a playoff game against Saskatchewan, Grant snared 5 INTs to set a pro football record for a game. He entered pro football as a player with the Philadelphia Eagles for 2 seasons in 1951-52, ranking 2nd in the NFL in receiving in 1952. Grant had a 203-yard receiving day against the Dallas Texans in 1952 that still ranks as the 4th-best day in Eagles history.
As a coach in Canada, Grant led Winnipeg to the Grey Cup 6 times, winning the title 4 times- 1958, '59, '61, '62. Grant is the 1st person to be elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the Canadian Football Hall of Fame.
Despite his many connections to Minnesota, Grant is a native of Superior, WI and graduate of Superior High. Upon graduation in 1945 he enlisted in the Navy and spent his basic training at Great Lakes Naval Station in Chicago where he played on a base football team coached by fellow Hall of Famer Paul Brown. Grant enrolled at the University of Minnesota where he would be a 3-sport standout in football, basketball and baseball. He twice earned All Big Ten honors in football. He was sought after as a pro athlete, being drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles and the NBA's Minneapolis Lakers. He won a pair of NBA titles with the Lakers in 1950 and '51 before turning to football where he played in 1951 and '52 for the Eagles. He was the 2nd-leading receiver in the NFL in 1952 before a contract dispute led him to Winnipeg to finish his playing career.
The Grant family is prominent in Minnesota in many areas. The matriarch of the Grant family, Bud's wife of 59 years, Pat, passed in the spring of 2009. Grant has 6 children, 19 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren.