IOWA CITY, Iowa – Jerry Burns, head football coach at the University of Iowa from 1961-65, has passed. He was 94. Services are pending.
Burns, a native of Detroit, served as an Iowa assistant football coach under Forest Evashevski from 1954-60. He served as Iowa’s head football coach from 1961-65. As a member of the Hawkeye coaching staff Burns was a part of three Big Ten Conference championship teams and two Rose Bowl victories.
The Hawkeyes posted a 9-1 record in 1956, winning the Big Ten with a 5-1 mark. Iowa ended the season with a 35-19 win over Oregon State in the Rose Bowl. Iowa posted an 8-1-1 record in 1958 to again win the Big Ten title, closing the season with a 38-12 Rose Bowl win over California.
Iowa was recognized as national champions in 1956 and 1958 by media outlets and was ranked in the final top 10 in both 1957 and 1960. Burns posted a 16-27-2 mark as the Hawkeye head coach.
Following his years at Iowa, Burns served as the defensive backs coach with the NFL’s Green Bay Packers for two seasons. Green Bay won Super Bowl I and Super Bowl II both years.
Burns would later spend 24 seasons on the staff of the Minnesota Vikings. He was Minnesota’s offensive coordinator for 18 seasons before taking over as head coach for six years (1986-91). His time as offensive coordinator is the longest tenure in NFL history for an offensive coordinator with one team.
As Minnesota’s head coach Burns posted a 52-43 record, totaling the fourth most wins in Vikings history. His teams posted a 3-3 record in three playoff appearances, including reaching the 1987 NFC championship game. The Vikings won the Central Division title in 1989. Burns retired following the 1991 season. He is a member of the Minnesota Vikings Ring of Honor.
Burns is survived by his wife, Marlyn, and five children.