Harry Peter “Bud” Grant came to Winnipeg to catch passes for the Blue Bombers in 1953 after a glorious athletic career in the United States which included allstar high school and college football, basketball, baseball, professional football with the National Football League (N.F.L.) Philadelphia Eagles, basketball with the National Basketball Association (N.B.A.) Minneapolis Lakers, and ended with Grant’s selection Minnesota’s Athlete of the Half-Century. In his four year playing career with the Blue Bombers, Grant was a three time all-star and held the Canadian Football League (C.F.L.) record for most interceptions in one game.
In 1957 J.T. Russell, the peerless and perspicacious club president, thought that Bud Grant could coach even though nobody else did. Grant did coach and was a winner. Six western championship titles, four Grey Cup titles, and a Coach of the Year award in 1965. With a C.F.L. career regular season record of 102-56-2 and overall record of 122-66-3 (.647), the “Grey Fox” enjoyed one of the most successful coaching careers in Canadian Football history.
As coach of the Blue Bombers from 1957 to 1966, Bud Grant rewrote not only jock history but Manitoba history. He was considered dour, cold, and phlegmatic, but if one were to put live birds into his secretary’s drawer, how dour and cold could he really be? Between 1964 and 1966, Grant assumed the additional responsibilities of manager for the football club. Winnipeg’s loss was Minnesota’s gain when Grant left to coach the N.F.L. Vikings in 1966. Grant is also a member of Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the US Football Hall of Fame and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers Hall of Fame.
b. May 20, 1927