Dennis Green, former Cardinals and Vikings coach, dies at 67
Dennis Green, whose three-year coaching tenure with the Arizona Cardinals was marked by an epic and timeless post-game rant, died Thursday night of cardiac arrest at age 67, his family confirmed.
"Dennis passed away last night from complications of cardiac arrest," Green’s family said in a statement. "His family was by his side and he fought hard."
Green had a 16-32 record while coaching the Cardinals from 2004 to 2006, taking over following the ouster of Dave McGinnis. His hiring sparked optimism of a rapid turnaround, but the team’s best record in his three seasons was 6-10 in his first year at the helm. After back-to-back 5-11 records in 2005-06, he was replaced by Ken Whisenhunt.
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill issued a statement of condolences, as did many of Green’s former players.
Cardinals President Michael Bidwill on the passing of Dennis Green: pic.twitter.com/5dpTYZDNkC
— Mark Dalton (@CardsMarkD) July 22, 2016
My heart goes out to family of my former coach Denny Green – we lost a good man way too soon!
— Kurt Warner (@kurt13warner) July 22, 2016
— Bertrand Berry (@btrain92) July 22, 2016
Green’s most successful coaching stint was with the Minnesota Vikings, for whom he compiled a 97-62 record from 1992 to 2001. His Vikings were known for a prolific offense led by Randall Cunningham and Randy Moss and qualified for the playoffs in 8 of 10 seasons he was in Minnesota. The 1998 Vikings had a 15-1 record but fell short of the Super Bowl after being upset by the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game.
Green presided over the Cardinals when they acquired Kurt Warner in 2005 and drafted Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett and Karlos Dansby in 2004.
Green’s most memorable moment with the Cardinals came following a 2006 Monday Night Football game against the Bears. The Bears came into the game with a 5-0 record and the Cardinals were 1-4, but the Cardinals took a 20-0 lead in the first half, only to see the Bears rally for a 24-23 win. The Bears scored two touchdowns on fumble returns and got the game-winning score on Devin Hester’s 83-yard punt return with 2:58 to play.
Prior to coaching in the NFL, Green was head coach at Northwestern for five seasons and at Stanford for three.
Green was considered a candidate for the Arizona State coaching position in 1992 before being hired by the Vikings. The ASU job went to the late Bruce Snyder instead.