Dennis Green, the former NFL head coach who led the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals to consistent playoff success, has died at age 67. ESPN reports that Green’s family has issued a statement confirming his passing.
“Dennis passed away last night from complications of cardiac arrest,” Green’s family said via statement. “His family was by his side and he fought hard.”
Beginning his NFL career with the San Francisco 49ers as a special teams coach and then as a wide receiver coach, Green landed his first head coaching gig in the NFL in 1992 with the Vikings. Green’s Vikings made eight playoff appearances in 10 seasons from 1992 to 2001; with the team reaching the NFC Championship Game in 1998 and 2000. He led the Vikings to a 15-1 regular season in 1998 and ranks second in franchise history in games coached, wins and winning percentage. Green only trails Hall of Fame coach Bud Grant in each of those categories.
He began a tenure as coach of the Arizona Cardinals in 2004, and was with the team from 2004 to 2006. Green was revered for his offensive prowess as a coach and the devotion he incurred from his players and organizations that worked with him.
“All of us at the Cardinals are incredibly saddened by the news of Dennis Green’s passing. Coach Green will rightly be remembered as a true innovator, leader and pioneer among football coaches,” Cardinals president Michael Bidwill said in a statement. “We express our deepest sympathy to his family and his many friends.”
Green’s legacy was celebrated by entertainers and fellow sports stars on social media. Some reactions are included below.
— Joe Budden (@JoeBudden) July 22, 2016
R.I.P Dennis Green "They are what we thought they were"
— Chad Johnson (@ochocinco) July 22, 2016
Denny Green did so much for me but the best thing was allowing his Asst coaches to have time with their families. pic.twitter.com/HcUGP6wUAv
— Tony Dungy (@TonyDungy) July 22, 2016
Rest In Peace Coach Dennis Green. Cookie & I send our prayers and condolences to his family, friends, former players and the NFL community.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) July 22, 2016
Sad news, Rest in peace Dennis Green.
— Jamal Anderson (@jamthedirtybird) July 22, 2016