clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Former Stanford football coach Dennis Green passes away at age 67

While Denny Green was best known for his NFL coaching career, he was a Stanford icon

Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Longtime NFL coach Dennis Green passed away on Thursday night at the age of 67.

Green's legacy is largely found in the NFL - he was the head coach of some of the best Vikings teams of all time and is the author of one of the best press conference rants of all time - but Green was also an icon at Stanford. He was a pioneer as the school's first black head coach, and his influence over the program still exists thanks to current Stanford head coach David Shaw, who played wide receiver for Green's Cardinal in 1991.

Green began his career at Stanford as Bill Walsh's running backs coach from 1977-1978, and after a season as the 49ers special teams coordinator, Green returned as Stanford's offensive coordinator in 1980.

After a stint as the head coach at Northwestern - where Green became the first black head coach in Big Ten history - Green returned to the Farm once again as Stanford's first black head coach. After coaching at Stanford from 1989 to 1991, Green left for the NFL where he compiled a 113-94 record as the head coach of the Vikings and Cardinals.

Green's Stanford teams went 16-18 overall, but he took the Cardinal from a 3-8 team in 1989 to an 8-4 record and a top 25 finish in 1991. Green's Cardinal also went 3-0 in the Big Game, including one of the craziest finishes ever in the 1990 Big Game.