Decorah native Jerry Reichow waves to the fans at Sunday’s NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions as he served as an honorary Viking captain. Shown interviewing the former Decorah athlete is Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter Greg Coleman. Reichow has served the Vikings for 59 seasons, first as a player, then as a member of the Minnesota staff.  (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)
Decorah native Jerry Reichow waves to the fans at Sunday’s NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Detroit Lions as he served as an honorary Viking captain. Shown interviewing the former Decorah athlete is Minnesota Vikings sideline reporter Greg Coleman. Reichow has served the Vikings for 59 seasons, first as a player, then as a member of the Minnesota staff. (Photo courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings)

Garet “Jerry” Reichow is the only person who has been with the Minnesota Vikings for their entire 59-season history and one of the longest-serving employees in the NFL. He has been a wide receiver, scout, personnel director and consultant.

Now it’s time for him to retire. Sunday, the Decorah native was an honorary captain at the Vikings’ game versus the Detroit Lions.


Front row seat

Reichow has seen the growth and development of the Minnesota Vikings with a front-row seat since the team first took the field as a raw expansion outfit. 

A standout player on the debut Vikings team in 1961, Reichow has worked over four decades with the team in a variety of personnel roles.

Reichow’s eye for talent has played a key role in the success of the franchise and he has worked with all seven head coaches in Vikings history.

Beginning his office career in 1966, he first served as director of player personnel. He moved on to be director of football operations in 1975 and assistant general manager, national scouting in 1992. Reichow was a key contributor to the Vikings draft process throughout his career and the team developed a reputation for finding talent hidden in late rounds of the draft.

Originally joining the team in 1961 in a trade from Washington, Reichow played 1961-64 for the Vikings. He led the team in receiving in 1961 and 1962, joined Hugh McElhenny in 1961 as the first two Pro Bowlers in team history. His 11 TD catches in 1961 stood as the team record until Cris Carter broke it in 1995.

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