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Former Vikings, Cardinals coach Dennis Green dies at age 67

Green reportedly suffered cardiac arrest on Friday morning.

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Former Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals head coach Dennis Green died on Friday at age 67 after suffering cardiac arrest, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Green had a brief playing career in the Canadian Football League after three years at halfback for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He then got into coaching and didn't take long to rise through the ranks and get his first head coaching job at Northwestern at age 31, where he was named 1982 Big Ten Coach of the Year. He also coached at Stanford, taking the Cardinals to a rare bowl appearance before he was hired by the Vikings as head coach in 1992.

He was only the second African American head coach in the modern era NFL, after Art Shell. His 1998 Vikings squad is only one of seven NFL teams to achieve a 15-1 regular season record.

"We are incredibly saddened by the sudden passing of former Vikings head coach Dennis Green," the team said in a statement. "Denny made his mark in ways far beyond being an outstanding football coach. He mentored countless players and served as a father figure for the men he coached. Denny founded the Vikings Community Tuesday Program, a critical initiative that is now implemented across the entire NFL. He took great pride in helping assistant coaches advance their careers. His tenure as one of the first African American head coaches in both college and the NFL was also transformative. Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Green family."

The Vikings earned a spot in the playoffs in eight of his first nine seasons with the franchise, racking up a 97-62 record in his 10 seasons with the team. He later had an unsuccessful stint with the Cardinals, from 2004 through 2006, that was best remembered for Green's epic postgame outburst after a Monday Night Football loss to the highly-touted Chicago Bears.

He was fired after the 2006 season, but the talent he acquired in Arizona was instrumental in building the 2008 team that went to the Super Bowl. Under Green's watch, the Cardinals' draft picks included Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Docket and Antrel Rolle.

"All of us at the Cardinals are incredibly saddened by the news of Dennis Green's passing," team president Michael Bidwill said in a statement on Friday. "Coach Green will rightly be remembered as a true innovator, leader and pioneer among football coaches. We express our deepest sympathy to his family and his many friends."

After his time with the Cardinals, Green briefly coached in the United Football League for the Sacramento Mountain Lions. In 2014, he won a lawsuit against the league for failing to honor his $1.5 million contract.

Green's career record as a coach in the NFL was 113-94. His 113 wins are No. 33 in the NFL history.