MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Jerry Burns, the former Minnesota Vikings head coach who served as offensive coordinator for Bud Grant and Les Steckel before taking the reins in 1986, has died at the age of 94, the team announced Wednesday.
Burnsie was one of a kind, brilliant offensive mind, incredible story teller with the most entertaining press conferences ever and as genuine as they get. Bud and Burnsie, what a pair https://t.co/BU1FAUuslw
— Mark Rosen (@KFANRosen) May 12, 2021
Burns, a member of the Vikings’ Ring of Honor, led the offense for 18 years before being named head coach. He coached the Vikings for six years, leading them to three playoff berths. In 1987, the team went to the NFC championship game, falling to the Washington Redskins, who would go on to win the Super Bowl. The team had a 52-43 record overall under him.
“He was a very astute football mind. He could see things on the field immediately,” Grant said in a statement. “His coaching help, friendship, loyalty, family – he brought everything to the Vikings he had. I’m gonna miss him.”
“I spent the last seven years of my career with Burnsie and he saved my life,” Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton said in a statement. “He was a brilliant, brilliant coach.”
In Burns’ 24 total years with the Vikings, the team made it to four Super Bowls and won 12 division titles.
Burns started his NFL career as the defensive backs coach for the Green Bay Packers, then led by Vince Lombardi.