Former Iowa running back, Northwestern coach and longtime NFL head man Dennis Green died after suffering cardiac arrest early Friday morning, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported. He was the Big Ten’s first African-American head coach and the second in Division I history.
Dennis Green’s family: “Dennis passed away last night from complications of cardiac arrest. His family was by his side and he fought hard.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 22, 2016
Former Vikings and Cardinals coach Dennis Green died early this morning after suffering cardiac arrest, per friend Ray Anderson. He was 67.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 22, 2016
Green made a name for himself as an NFL head coach, but has ties to the Big Ten. The Harrisburg, Pa., native played running back for three years at Iowa, tallying 139 carries for 699 yards and nine touchdowns in his career. He added another five receiving touchdowns. He served as the Hawkeyes running backs coach from 1974-1976 and was Northwestern’s head coach from 1981-1985.
Green was the Vikings coach from 1992-2001, then took the Cardinals job from 2004-2006. He went 113–94 as an NFL coach and delivered one of the best postgame rants in football history.
In 1981, Green, then 31, took over a Northwestern team that had won just two of its last 33 games. He didn’t fare much better on the surface, going 10-45 in five seasons, including 0-11 in his first. But he won Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 1982 after winning just three games.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald tweeted out a tribute to Green on Friday.
Our entire football family is grateful for Coach Green's impact! Thoughts and prayers are with his family today. pic.twitter.com/uK5gKSJtF4
— Pat Fitzgerald (@coachfitz51) July 22, 2016