Bud Grant arrived at the University of Minnesota as a heralded recruit from Superior, Wis., and didn't disappoint. Here are five things to know about his Gophers career:
Star in three sports
He played football, basketball and baseball for the Gophers, lettering nine times between 1946-49. In football, he wore No. 13 and was twice named All-Big Ten at end, playing both offense and defense. As a basketball forward, he was named the Gophers' MVP. In baseball, he pitched and played center field.
At the head of the class
Grant was inducted into Minnesota's M Club Hall of Fame in 1991. Gophersports.com site says, "Grant edged icons Bronko Nagurski and Bruce Smith in voting for the University's top athlete for the first half of the 20th century."
Touted recruiting class
Grant was part of a Gophers football recruiting class that arrived after World War II to play for Bernie Bierman in 1946. Teammates included Billy Bye, Gordy Soltau, Clayton Tonnemaker and Leo Nomellini. The Gophers went 6-3 in 1947 and won their final four games in 1948 to finish 7-2.
'49ers' started strong
Expectations were sky high for these "49ers," as they were called, in reference to the dream of Minnesota winning the national title as seniors. They started 4-0, including a 27-0 pounding of Ohio State that lifted them to No. 3 in the country. But they stumbled 14-7 at Michigan, and Bierman infamously overworked them the next week, leading to a 13-7 home loss to unranked Purdue. The Gophers finished 7-2 and ranked No. 16 in the final AP poll. The experience stuck with Grant throughout his coaching days.
Chairman of the boards
In basketball, Grant averaged 8.5 points in 21 games in 1948-49, as the Gophers went 18-3 under coach Ozzie Cowles. There are no rebounding stats available, but that was a strength of Grant's game. He left the University after one game the following season and signed with the Minneapolis Lakers before moving on to the NFL.