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.
Chris Tomasson @christomasson
Ex-#Vikings RB Chuck Foreman on Jerry Burns:<br>“Bill Walsh got credit for Jerry Burns’ offense. That was our offense. That wasn’t (the 49ers) offense. We incorporated that to take advantage of my abilities as a receiver so we were throwing that way before the West Coast Offense.’’
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."