By Rich Winter
I think most sports fans in South Dakota know the prowess of former Vikings Linebacker Chad Greenway. A standout at Iowa and a ten year career in the NFL are proof that Greenway may be one of the best athletes to ever come out of South Dakota.
While Greenway has been inducted into a number of South Dakota Hall of Fames, did ya know he’s also in the South Dakota High School Basketball Hall of Fame.
This man was a load on the low blocks for Mt. Vernon…(Check out some of the stats for the 6-foot-4 forward.
Career points scored 1,450
Seniors year: 26 points, 11 rebounds - Named to Class B all-state team for the second time.
Junior year: 23 points, 13 rebounds per game.
Sophomore - 20 points per game.
Can you imagine the number of recruiting letters and phone calls that came to the Greenway house?
As a Mount Vernon High School senior Greenway was heavily recruited by college coaches who coveted his wide-ranging talents on the basketball court.
Known for his strength, speed and agility, Greenway was an adept perimeter shooter and a proven low-post scorer.
The athletic ability that helped Greenway excel in basketball was clearly evident during track season.
Every year I scour the state track meet program, and every year, Greenway’s name pops up next to the Class B state meet record int he triple jump.
47’1.5” - Can you imagine a future NFL linebacker rumbling down the runway and then hop, skip and jump his way farther than any Class B kid, EVER?
The athletic ability that helped Greenway excel in basketball was clearly evident during track season. He was a championship-level hurdler and set the State Class B Meet record of 47-1½ in the triple jump.
Oh yeah, Greenway played high-school football as well.
Greenway was a quarterback and safety who led the Stickney/Mount Vernon Knights to back-to-back Class 9AA state football championships during the 1999 and 2000 seasons.
He was an all-stater three years and the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior for Coach Myron Steffen.
The challenge of major-college football appealed to Greenway. So he turned down a number of basketball offers and accepted a scholarship from Coach Kirk Ferentz and the University of Iowa. With the Hawkeyes he was moved to linebacker and was an important part of teams that went 38-12 over four seasons. Greenway was all-Big Ten Conference three years and earned All-America recognition twice.
After being an Iowa captain during his senior season in 2005, he entered the NFL Draft and was selected 17th overall in the first round by Minnesota.
What followed was an illustrious 11-year career with the Vikings in which Greenway established himself as an unquestioned team leader. He ranks fourth in franchise history with 1,334 total tackles.
And, the man is respected for his civic involvement as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
He was named the Vikings’ Community Man of the Year multiple times.
And in 2015 he was the Byron “Whizzer” White NFL Man of the Year. A
After the 2016 season Greenway retired from the Vikings. In 2017 he was presented the Big Ten Conference Dungy-Thompson Humanitarian Award.
Greenway now spends time working with his charitable Lead the Way Foundation and as a speaker. His foundation has raised more than $2 million and assisted those in need in the Twin Cities area through a variety of outreach programs. He and his wife Jennifer live in Wayzata, Minn. Children are Maddyn, Beckett, Blakely and Carsyn.