May 20, 1927: Harry Peter Grant Jr. is born in Superior, Wis. His mother, Bernice, calls him “Buddy Boy” as a youth, and the shortened moniker sticks. He contracted polio at age 8, making his left calf and thigh smaller than his right, but was a three-sport star at Superior Central High.
July 6, 1945: Grant enlists in the Navy. When World War II ends soon after, he stays with the Great Lakes football team in Chicago and plays for legendary coach Paul Brown. The team beats Notre Dame 19-7 that season.
▲ Jan. 4, 1947: Grant, now living in Dinkytown as a three-sport standout at the University of Minnesota, and the Gophers men’s basketball team open Big Nine conference play against Ohio State, the first meeting between the two teams in five years.
Jan. 28, 1947: Grant scores 12 baskets and a free throw for 25 points, leading all scorers in a 66-63 overtime Big Nine loss at Purdue.
▲ Nov. 21, 1948: A 16-0 Gophers football victory over Wisconsin on a sloppy Camp Randall Field is sparked by a heads-up play from Grant. He catches a pass from Billy Bye and laterals it to Bill Thiele on the 20-yard line, who then runs in for a score.
Dec. 25, 1949: The Minneapolis Lakers sign Grant less than a week after he quit school at Minnesota, and he is in uniform for the Christmas Day game vs. Fort Wayne.
Jan. 20, 1950: Grant is drafted in the first round by the Philadelphia Eagles. After a year on defense, he switches to offense and catches 57 passes for 997 yards and seven TDs.
Jan. 3, 1957: At age 29 and after a four-year playing career in the CFL, Grant is named coach of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. In 10 seasons, he wins 122 games, six Western Conference titles and four Grey Cup championships.
▲ March 11, 1967: Vikings GM Jim Finks — formerly in the front office of the CFL’s Calgary Stampeders — hires Grant to replace Norm Van Brocklin as coach for three years, $108,000. “We never beat Grant in a playoff,” Finks said. “I learned to respect him as a coach.”
Oct. 15, 1967: After an 0-4 start, Bud Grant picks up his first victory as Vikings coach, 10-7 over the Packers at Milwaukee’s County Stadium. Earsell Mackbee’s interception leads to a last-second 12-yard field goal from Fred Cox to stun the defending Super Bowl champions.
Jan. 11, 1970: Kansas City jumps out to a 16-0 lead en route to an overwhelming 23-7 victory over the Vikings in Super Bowl IV in New Orleans. “The Chiefs did a hell of a job, that’s all,” Grant said.
Jan. 13, 1974: To the chagrin of a Minnesota-heavy fan base at Rice Stadium in Houston, the Miami Dolphins race to a 24-0 lead and defeat the Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII. “The Dolphin fans surfaced in time for the kickoff,” Minneapolis Tribune reporter Bob Lundergaard wrote, “[But] the feeling in some circles was that the Vikings fans may have left their game in the parking lot.”
▲ Jan. 12, 1975: The Vikings manage only 21 yards rushing in Super Bowl IX, a 16-6 loss to Pittsburgh in New Orleans. Steelers running back Franco Harris runs for a then-Super Bowl-record 158 yards and a touchdown.
Jan. 9, 1977: In front of 100,421 fans at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl, Grant and the Vikings lose their fourth Super Bowl in as many trips, 32-14 to John Madden and the Oakland Raiders. The Vikings trail just 19-7 before Fran Tarkenton throws interceptions to Willie Brown and Willie Hall to help the Raiders run up the score and cause Grant to bench his starting QB. “We just played them on the wrong day,” Grant said. “Next time, we’ll play them on Wednesday.”
▲ Jan. 28, 1984: Grant steps down as Vikings coach. He would come back one year later after a 3-13 Vikings debacle under Les Steckel, then retire again, for good. “I was never fired; I was never cut,” Grant said.
July 30, 1994: After a 168-108-5 career record with four Super Bowl berths at the helm of the Vikings, a teary-eyed Grant arrives in Canton, Ohio, to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “My mother called me Bud, but my dad always called me The Kid,” Grant said, voice cracking. “If he were here, he’d stand up and say: The Kid made it.”
Oct. 17, 2015: En route to a hunting trip in Canada, Grant and pilot Jim Hanson of Albert Lea, Minn., belly-flop a twin-engine Beechcraft near Regina, Saskatchewan, after the landing gear and dashboard instruments failed.
▲ Jan. 10, 2016: With the temperature at 6 degrees below zero, Grant walks to midfield in a short-sleeved golf shirt and participates in the ceremonial coin toss before the Vikings’ playoff game vs. Seattle at TCF Bank Stadium.