Bud Grant Says He was Offered Minnesota Vikings Head Coaching Job in 2004
Ask any Vikings fan and they will almost unanimously agree – Bud Grant was the best coach in franchise history.
From 1967-83, Grant guided the purple and gold to four Super Bowl appearances, and was so beloved by the franchise, that he was recruited to return for one additional year in 1985, after a miserable 3-13 season with Les Steckel at the helm.
And now in his new book, ‘I Did it My Way’, Grant claims the Vikings came calling again – nearly 20 years later.
The Hall of Fame coach says then-Vikings owner Red McCombs, first approached him about replacing Mike Tice during the 2004 season, but Grant refused.
Not taking no for an answer, McCombs (according to Grant), called back in December telling Grant he was going to fire Tice after the team’s next game. Grant says at that point he considered taking the job, but not for the salary the team was paying Tice at the time. In his book, Grant recalls a conversation he had with McCombs:
Red, Tice is the lowest-paid coach in the National Football League.
I am not going to accept that.
Grant says the team upped its offer to $150,000 per game, the coach wanted to be paid $1 less than what the NFL’s highest-paid coach at the time was making, roughly $4 to $5 million a year.
When the Vikings’ counteroffer fell well short, the deal was off.
I would have come back.
I thought the Vikings had a pretty good team, and returning to coaching was kind of an exciting thought.
The money would have been good, and I thought it might be fun to come back to coaching — for a short time, anyway.
It certainly would have been exciting to do at 78 years old.
It would have been exciting the watch.