Mertes pictured in The Quax 1961, Drake yearbook
October 6, 1921|
|Died||January 17, 2002(aged 80)|
Los Angeles Dons
New York Giants
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
Denver Broncos (assistant)
Minnesota Vikings (assistant)
|Head coaching record|
Bernard James "Bus" Mertes (October 6, 1921 – January 17, 2002) was an American football player and coach. He played college football at the University of Iowa and professionally in the National Football League (NFL) and the All-America Football Conference (AAFC) with the Chicago Cardinals, Los Angeles Dons, Baltimore Colts, and New York Giants. Mertes served as the head football coach at Kansas State University from 1955 to 1959 and at Drake University from 1960 to 1964, compiling a career college football coaching record of 42–53–1.
Mertes got his first college head coach position as the 24th head football coach for the Kansas State Wildcats in Manhattan, Kansas, and he held that position for five seasons, from 1955 until 1959. His coaching record at Kansas State was 15 wins, 34 losses, and 1 ties. As of completion of the 2007 season, this ranks him tenth at Kansas State in terms of total wins and 19th at Kansas State in terms of winning percentage.
After leaving Kansas State following the 1959 season, Mertes became the 19th head football coach for the Drake University Bulldogs located in Des Moines, Iowa for five seasons, from 1960 until 1964. His coaching record at Drake was 27 wins, 19 losses, and 0 ties. This ranks him eighth at Drake in terms of total wins and sixth at Drake in terms of winning percentage.
After leaving the Denver Broncos, Mertes joined Bud Grant's coaching staff on the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL. He coached the running backs and special teams, working with players such as Bill Brown, Dave Osborn, Ed Marinaro, Chuck Foreman, Ted Brown, Darrin Nelson, Greg Coleman, and Fred Cox. As an assistant with the Vikings from 1967 to 1984, he coached in four Super Bowls.
Head coaching record
|Kansas State (Big Seven/Big Eight Conference) (1955–1957)|
|Drake Bulldogs (NCAA Independent) (1960–1964)|