Bus Mertes

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Bus Mertes
Bus Mertes.png
Mertes pictured in The Quax 1961, Drake yearbook
Sport(s) Football
Biographical details
Born (1921-10-06)October 6, 1921
Chicago, Illinois
Died January 17, 2002(2002-01-17) (aged 80)
Playing career
1941 Iowa
1945 Chicago Cardinals
1946 Los Angeles Dons
1947–1949 Baltimore Colts
1949 New York Giants
Position(s) Running back
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
1955–1959 Kansas State
1960–1964 Drake
1965–1966 Denver Broncos (assistant)
1967–1984 Minnesota Vikings (assistant)
Head coaching record
Overall 42–53–1

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.

Coaching career[edit]

Kansas State[edit]

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.[1]


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.[2]

Denver Broncos[edit]

After leaving Drake following the 1964 season, Mertes joined the Denver Broncos of the American Football League as an assistant coach. He coached with Denver for two seasons.

Minnesota Vikings[edit]

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[edit]

Year Team Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs
Kansas State (Big Seven/Big Eight Conference) (1955–1957)
1955 Kansas State 4–6 3–3 T–3rd
1956 Kansas State 3–7 2–4 T–5th
1957 Kansas State 3–6–1 2–4 T–5th
1958 Kansas State 3–7 2–4 5th
1959 Kansas State 2–8 1–5 7th
Kansas State: 15–34–1 10–20
Drake Bulldogs (NCAA University Division independent) (1960–1964)
1960 Drake 4–5
1961 Drake 5–4
1962 Drake 8–2
1963 Drake 4–4
1964 Drake 6–4
Drake: 27–19
Total: 42–53–1


External links[edit]