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Jerry Burns, Vikings Ring of Honor Coach, Dies at Age 94

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVMay 13, 2021

AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt

The Minnesota Vikings announced that long-time coach Jerry Burns died on Wednesday. He was 94. 

A number of key figures across the organization's history released statements mourning Burns:

Burns started his coaching career as an assistant for Hawaii in 1951 and spent his next 15 years coaching in the college ranks, eventually becoming Iowa's head coach (1961-65). The Hawkeyes went 16-27-2 under his watch. 

He was then hired by the Green Bay Packers and served as the defensive backs coach for two years (1966-67) before taking over as Minnesota's offensive coordinator in 1968, a role he held until 1985. The Vikings went to four Super Bowls in that time, though they fell short of winning a title each time. 

Burns went 52-43 as the team's head coach (1986-91), leading the team to the postseason three times. His Vikings' teams went 3-3 in the playoffs. 

Vikings Pro Bowl wideout Ahmad Rashad called Burns "an offensive genius" and described his offense as "revolutionary," per Eric Smith of Vikings.com.

"He's just a special guy," Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton added. "And he's a part of the great history of our team. He's one of the great characters of all time."

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