Remembering the Great Dennis Green
JACKSONVILLE, FL -- This month seven years ago, the world and football lost a great man and ambassador of the game in coach Dennis Green. Journey with us as we take a few moments to remember the great Dennis Green.
Dennis Earl Green was an American football coach who spent 17 seasons in the National Football League (NFL) and 3 seasons in the United Football League (UFL). He was the second African-American head coach in NFL history. He coached the Minnesota Vikings for ten seasons and the Arizona Cardinals for three seasons before ending his coaching career with the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL.
Green was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1949. He played college football at the University of Iowa and was drafted by the BC Lions of the Canadian Football League in 1971. He played for the Lions for two seasons before retiring to pursue a coaching career.
Green's first coaching job was as an assistant coach at Northwestern University. He then spent three seasons as an assistant coach at Stanford University. In 1986, he was hired by the San Francisco 49ers as their wide receivers coach. He won a Super Bowl with the 49ers in 1989.
In 1992, Green was hired as the head coach of the Minnesota Vikings. He led the Vikings to eight playoff appearances in nine seasons, including a 15-1 record in 1998. However, the Vikings could never reach the Super Bowl under Green.
After departing from the Vikings in 2001, Green was hired by the Arizona Cardinals. He led the Cardinals to a 10-6 record in his first season, but they went 16-32 in his final two seasons. Green was released by the Cardinals in 2006.
After leaving the NFL, Green spent three seasons as the head coach of the Sacramento Mountain Lions of the UFL. He then retired from coaching.
Green died on July 22, 2016, at the age of 67. He was posthumously inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2018.
Green was a fiery and passionate coach known for his colorful quotes. He was also a respected leader who could get the best out of his players.
Highlights of Dennis Green's NFL career:
- Led the Minnesota Vikings to eight playoff appearances in nine seasons
- Set the NFL record for most points in a season (556) in 1998
- Won a Super Bowl as a wide receivers coach with the San Francisco 49ers in 1989
- Inducted into the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor in 2018
Highlights of Dennis Green's UFL career:
- Head Coach of the Sacramento Mountain Lions for three seasons.
- Green and Ted Cottrell were the first African-American coaches in UFL history.
Quotes from Dennis Green:
- "The Bears are who we thought they were. They're what we thought they were. We played them in the preseason -- who the hell takes a third game of the preseason like it's bulls--t? Bulls--t!"
- "We're not in the business of being friends. We're in the business of winning ballgames."
- "We want to be the hunted, not the hunter."
Legacy of Dennis Green:
Dennis Green was a successful and respected coach who significantly impacted professional football. He was the second African-American head coach in NFL history and paved the way for other African-American coaches to follow in his footsteps. He was also a fiery and passionate coach known for his colorful quotes. Green will be remembered as one of professional football's most successful African-American coaches.
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