Former Minnesota Vikings head coach Jerry Burns, who was an innovator on the field and a colorful personality off of it, died on Wednesday at the age of 94.
Burns spent 24 total seasons in Minnesota including 18 seasons as offensive coordinator and served as the Vikings head coach from 1986-91.
"Jerry Burns was one of the most important people we met when we came to Minnesota, and he was a foundation of this franchise," The Wilf family said in a statement. "His leadership as a coordinator and head coach for over two decades shaped some of the most successful teams in Vikings history. His love of life, quick smile and sense of humor were what we will remember most. We join Vikings fans worldwide in sending our prayers to his family."
Burns was also a key part of the Vikings' success in the 1970s along with Grant helping the franchise make four Super Bowl appearances.
"[Burns] was a very astute football mind," Grant said in a statement. "He could see things on the field immediately. He was as important to my career as anyone I've been involved with. His coaching help, friendship, loyalty, family — he brought everything to the Vikings he had. I'm gonna miss him."
Along with the Super Bowl appearances, Burns helped the Vikings win 11 divisional titles and make an improbable playoff run to the NFC Championship Game during the 1989 season. Burns also coached the Vikings to the NFC Central Division title in 1989.
Burns had an overall record of 52-43 and made three playoff appearances as a head coach and was inducted into the team's Ring of Honor in 2005.