Ron Wolf

Ron Wolf (born December 30, 1938)[1] is the former American football general manager (GM) of the National Football League's Green Bay Packers. Wolf is widely credited with bringing success to a Packers franchise that had rarely won during the two decades prior to Wolf joining the organization.[2] He also played a significant role in personnel operations with the Oakland and Los Angeles Raiders from 1963[3] to 1975 and again from 1978 to 1990. He joined Green Bay's front office in November 1991 from a personnel director's job with the New York Jets. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in August 2015.[4]

Ron Wolf
Position:Executive
Personal information
Born:December 30, 1938 (age 80)
New Freedom, Pennsylvania
Career information
High school:Glen Rock (PA) Susquehannock
College:Maryville
Career history
As executive:
Career highlights and awards

Biography

Early life

Wolf was born in New Freedom, Pennsylvania on December 30, 1938. After serving three years in the Army, Wolf played college baseball at Maryville College in Tennessee.[1] After college, he worked for Pro Football Illustrated, a Chicago sports newspaper.[5][6]

Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders

Wolf became a scout for the Raiders in 1963. With the Raiders, Wolf took part in drafting such notable players as Art Shell, Gene Upshaw, Ken Stabler, and Jack Tatum, all of whom would play for the Super Bowl XI Championship team in 1976, and later such players as Howie Long, Marcus Allen, and Matt Millen, all of the Super Bowl XVIII Championship team in 1983, the then Los Angeles Raiders.

After the death of Raiders owner Al Davis, Wolf was rumored to possibly come back to Oakland. He didn't specify that he wanted to have a full-time job as General Manager there, but he told the new ownership team that he would assist them with anything they needed. In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel he supported Green Bay Packers director of football operations, Reggie McKenzie as a perfect candidate for the GM position in Oakland and called him a "tremendous evaluator" when it comes to finding players.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

In 1975, Wolf joined the expansion Tampa Bay Buccaneers as vice-president of operations. He helped build the team that would advance to the 1979 NFC Championship game. He would not be around to see his team develop, however, as he resigned his position with the Buccaneers in February, 1978, citing "personal matters".[7] It is believed that he had difficulty working with Buccaneer owner Hugh Culverhouse, and that Culverhouse was trying to interfere with personnel decisions.[8] Wolf later indicated that Culverhouse's close personal relationship with and strong financial stake in coach John McKay meant that Wolf had to be the one to pay with his job for the team's 0-26 start.[9] Wolf returned to the Raiders on the expiration of his Buccaneer contract.

Green Bay Packers

In 1991, Wolf was hired to replace Packers General Manager Tom Braatz. Wolf's first major decisions were to fire head coach Lindy Infante, hire then-San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike Holmgren to replace him, and to trade for then-Atlanta Falcons backup quarterback Brett Favre. In 1993, Wolf signed the most sought after free-agent available, Reggie White, bringing in a team leader and defensive superstar. This signing, in NFL free agency's first year, also made Green Bay a more desirable destination for future potential free agents, including White's fellow defensive linemen Santana Dotson and Sean Jones. Specifically, White's arrival negated the perception of Green Bay as a city where African-American players did not feel welcome.[10] With White and cast-off Gilbert Brown, Dotson and Jones formed the heart of the Packer defense during the team's championship run.

Wolf is credited with remaking the Packers into a perennial winner and championship contender. From 1968 to 1991, the Packers had only four winning seasons.[11] Over his nine-year term as GM, the Packers compiled a 92–52 record,[12] good for a .639 winning percentage, second in the NFL over that span to the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers won Super Bowl XXXI against the New England Patriots, lost in Super Bowl XXXII to the Denver Broncos, and made the playoffs six straight times. Wolf announced he would retire as Packers GM in February 2001. He stayed on through the April NFL draft and officially retired as Packers GM in June 2001. Afterward the Packers head coach at that time, Mike Sherman, assumed his duties as GM.

His son, Eliot Wolf, is Assistant General Manager of the Cleveland Browns.

San Diego Chargers

On December 31, 2012, San Diego Chargers President Dean Spanos retained Wolf as a consultant to advise the Chargers throughout the general manager and head coach hiring process.[13]

New York Jets

From 1990 to 1991, Wolf served as personnel director for the New York Jets.

On December 28, 2014, Wolf later joined Charley Casserly as a consultant for the Jets in their search for a new head coach and general manager, following the firing of Rex Ryan and John Idzik Jr..[14]

Pro Football Hall of Fame

On October 22, 2014, Wolf was selected as a finalist to be a member in the Pro Football Hall of Fame as a contributor (designation for individuals who were neither a player nor a coach).[2]

On January 31, 2015, Wolf was confirmed as a member of the 2015 Hall of Fame class. He was inducted on August 8th.[15]

References

  1. ^ a b http://www.wifca.org/news_article/show/155114?referrer_id=493869
  2. ^ a b http://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/2014/10/22/bill-polian-ron-wolf-selected-as-contributor-finalists-for-class-of-2015/
  3. ^ Ron Wolf's SCOUTING REPORT
  4. ^ "Ron Wolf elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame". www.packers.com. January 31, 2014.
  5. ^ Anderson, Dave (January 19, 1998). "Sports of The Times; In Lombardi's Office, A Man With a View". The New York Times. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  6. ^ Pierson, Don (January 9, 1997). "Building From Scratch". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  7. ^ "Sports in Brief". Spokane Daily Chronicle. 23 Feb 1978
  8. ^ Mizell, Hubert. "Rams, Oilers eager to trade for Bucs' No. 1". St. Petersburg Times. 20 Apr 1978
  9. ^ Crawford, Denis. "The end of John McKay's coaching days in Tampa". bucpower.com. Nov 2009. accessed 6 Feb 2010
  10. ^ Christi, Cliff. "White's signing changed Packers' fortunes". espn.com. 27 Dec 2004. accessed 6 Feb 2010.
  11. ^ https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/gnb/
  12. ^ Team/Staff/Ron Wolf PACKERS.COM
  13. ^ Public Relations, www.chargers.com. "Chargers Begin Process, Retain Ron Wolf as Consultant"
  14. ^ Source: Ron Wolf expected to join Jets as consultant
  15. ^ "Ron Wolf elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame". www.packers.com. January 31, 2015.
Bob Harlan

Robert E. "Bob" Harlan is the former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of the Green Bay Packers, an American professional football team. He is a graduate of Marquette University, where he was the Sports Information Director for many years. He is also the father of sports announcer Kevin Harlan.

Bob Monnett

Robert C. Monnett (February 27, 1910 – August 2, 1978) was a professional American football player who played halfback for six seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973.

Charley Brock

Charles Jacob "Charley" Brock (March 15, 1916 – May 25, 1987) was an American football center and linebacker.

Gerry Ellis

Gerry Ellis (born November 12, 1957

in Columbia, Missouri) is a former professional American football player who played running back for seven seasons for the Green Bay Packers.

Green Bay Packers

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers compete in the National Football League (NFL) as a member club of the league's National Football Conference (NFC) North division. It is the third-oldest franchise in the NFL, dating back to 1919, and is the only non-profit, community-owned major league professional sports team based in the United States. Home games have been played at Lambeau Field since 1957.

The Packers are the last of the "small town teams" which were common in the NFL during the league's early days of the 1920s and '30s. Founded in 1919 by Earl "Curly" Lambeau and George Whitney Calhoun, the franchise traces its lineage to other semi-professional teams in Green Bay dating back to 1896. Between 1919 and 1920, the Packers competed against other semi-pro clubs from around Wisconsin and the Midwest, before joining the American Professional Football Association (APFA), the forerunner of today's NFL, in 1921. Although Green Bay is by far the smallest major league professional sports market in North America, Forbes ranked the Packers as the world's 26th most valuable sports franchise in 2016, with a value of $2.35 billion.The Packers have won 13 league championships, the most in NFL history, with nine pre–Super Bowl NFL titles and four Super Bowl victories. The Packers won the first two Super Bowls in 1967 and 1968 and were the only NFL team to defeat the American Football League (AFL) prior to the AFL–NFL merger. The Vince Lombardi Trophy is named after the Packers' coach of the same name, who guided them to their first two Super Bowls. Their two subsequent Super Bowl wins came in 1996 and 2010.The Packers are long-standing adversaries of the Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, and Detroit Lions, who today comprise the NFL's NFC North division, and were formerly members of the NFC Central Division. They have played over 100 games against each of those teams through history, and have a winning overall record against all of them, a distinction only shared with the Kansas City Chiefs and Dallas Cowboys. The Bears–Packers rivalry is one of the oldest in NFL history, dating back to 1921.

Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame

The Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame was the first hall of fame built to honor a single professional American football team. William L. Brault, a Green Bay restaurateur and Packers fan, founded the Hall of Fame in 1966. According to Brault, he got the idea after visitors to Green Bay would repeatedly ask about the Packers' storied history. Sensing opportunity, Brault went to Packers head coach Vince Lombardi, suggesting a "Hall of Fame" should be made to educate tourists about the Packers and their history. Lombardi gave Brault his approval, and according to Brault, as he left, Lombardi called out to him, "Don't screw it up!"

The "Hall" started off as a series of exhibits displayed in the concourse of the Brown County Veterans Memorial Arena, although it was not a permanent residence, as the exhibits had to be removed each autumn to make room for the Green Bay Bobcats hockey team, which played its home games at the Arena. In 1967, the Packer Hall of Fame Association, a separate corporate entity from the team, was founded and annual induction banquets were subsequently launched in 1970. The Hall did not become a permanent site until 1976 when its new home, an addition to the Brown County Veterans Arena, was formally dedicated on April 3, 1976, by President Gerald R. Ford. Outside of the Hall of Fame was a 'Receiver Statue' that was dedicated to the invention of the Forward Pass.

Over the next 26 years, the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame encountered many expansions and renovations. In 2003, renovations to Lambeau Field provided a new home within the new Lambeau Field Atrium for the Hall. Packers legends Bart Starr and Ron Wolf rededicated the Hall on September 4, 2003. The Hall contains a vast array of Packers memorabilia, a re-creation of Vince Lombardi's office, plaques representing each of the inductees and the Lombardi trophies from Green Bay's four Super Bowl wins. As of 2017, the Packers Hall of Fame has inducted 159 people, 24 of whom have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The 2018 inductees were offensive tackle Mark Tauscher and kicker Ryan Longwell.

Hank Bruder

Henry George "Hank" Bruder Jr. (November 22, 1907 – June 29, 1970) was an American football player in the National Football League. He played nine years with the Green Bay Packers from 1931 to 1939 and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1972. Bruder attended Northwestern University, where he was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity.He was part of the offensive line that blocked for Pro Football Hall of Fame back Johnny "Blood" McNally.

Hank Gremminger

Charles Henry "Hank" Gremminger (September 1, 1933 – November 2, 2001) was an American football player, a defensive back in the National Football League for eleven seasons. He played ten seasons for the Green Bay Packers (1956–1965) and one for the Los Angeles Rams in 1966.

Jesse Whittenton

Urshell James "Jesse" Whittenton (May 9, 1934 – May 21, 2012) was an American football player who played nine seasons in the NFL, mainly for the Green Bay Packers.

Whittenton also played on the Senior PGA Tour in the late 1980s. His best finish was T-21 at the 1989 Showdown Classic.

John Martinkovic

John George Martinkovic (February 4, 1927 – February 8, 2018) was an American football defensive lineman in the National Football League for the Green Bay Packers and the New York Giants. He played college football and basketball at Xavier University and was drafted in the sixth round of the 1951 NFL Draft by the Washington Redskins.

Johnnie Gray

Johnnie Lee Gray (born December 18, 1953) is an American retired professional football player. Gray was a safety in the National Football League with the Green Bay Packers.

Ken Herock

Ken Herock (born July 16, 1941, in Pittsburgh) was an American college and professional football player who played tight end. He played collegiately at West Virginia and professionally in the American Football League, where he played for the AFL Champion Oakland Raiders in the second AFL-NFL World Championship Game, held after the 1967 season. He attended Munhall High School in Pittsburgh. His six-year pro career was spent with the Oakland Raiders, who he helped win the AFL title, the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Boston Patriots. After his playing career ended, Herock was a player personnel executive in the NFL with the Raiders, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the Atlanta Falcons. He is known for trading Brett Favre from the Falcons to the Green Bay Packers at the urging of head coach Jerry Glanville.In High School, Ken played volleyball, baseball, basketball, and football. Ken Now lives in Gainesville, Georgia and is in the West Virginia Hall of Fame. Herock spent seven seasons as the Raiders' personnel director, and was credited with helping build their Super Bowl XI championship team. He followed Ron Wolf to the expansion Buccaneers, where he held the title of Director of Player Personnel for the team's first eight years. During his tenure, the Buccaneers reached the playoffs in only four years, at that time the fastest of any NFL team. At the expiration of his contract in 1984, Herock found that he could make more money than he was being offered by Buccaneers owner Hugh Culverhouse, but the frugal Culverhouse refused to increase his offer. Coach Howard Schnellenberger then made Herock his first hire, offering him the same position with the USFL Washington Federals. This failed to pan out, as the team's planned move to Miami coincided with the USFL's planned move to a fall schedule, and their prospective owner canceled his purchase of the team rather than try to compete head-to-head with the Miami Dolphins and Hurricanes.He has 2 sons, one being the assistant director of scouting for the Oakland Raiders. Ken also has 5 grandchildren.

List of Green Bay Packers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame

The Green Bay Packers are a professional American football team based in Green Bay, Wisconsin. They are currently members of the North Division of the National Football Conference (NFC) in the National Football League (NFL), and are the third-oldest franchise in the NFL. Founded in 1919 by coach, player, and future Hall of Fame inductee Curly Lambeau and sports and telegraph editor George Whitney Calhoun, the Packers organization has become one of the most successful professional football teams, having won a total of 13 professional American football championships—nine NFL Championships and four Super Bowls—the most in the NFL. The franchise has recorded 18 NFL divisional titles, eight NFL conference championships, and the second most regular season and overall victories of any NFL franchise, behind the Chicago Bears. In 1963, the Pro Football Hall of Fame was created to honor the history of professional American football and the individuals who have greatly influenced it. Since the charter induction class of 1963, 31 individuals who have played or coached for the Packers have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.Of the 30 inductees, 25 made their primary contribution to football with the Packers, while five only contributed a minor portion of their career to the Packers and two were assistant coaches. Of the original 17 individuals inducted in 1963, four spent the major part of their career with the Green Bay Packers. This includes the founder Curly Lambeau, the NFL's all-time offensive tackle Cal Hubbard, the 1941 and 1942 Most Valuable Player Don Hutson, and 1931 All-NFL player Johnny (Blood) McNally. The first two decades of the Hall of Fame's existence saw 17 Packers enshrined, including one inductee who was not a player for the Packers, Vince Lombardi. Coaching the Packers from 1959 to 1967, Lombardi led the team to five NFL Championships, plus winning the first two Super Bowls against the American Football League, and an overall winning percentage of .754. The most recent Packer to be inducted was Jerry Kramer in 2018.

Mike Douglass (American football)

Michael Reese Douglass (born March 15, 1955 in St. Louis, Missouri) is a former American football player. He played outside linebacker for the Green Bay Packers (1978–1985) and the San Diego Chargers (1986) in the National Football League. He ranks third in the lists of tackles made by a Packers player.

Nate Barragar

Nathan Robert Barragar (June 3, 1907 – August 10, 1985) was an American collegiate and professional football player.

Pete Tinsley

Elijah Pope "Pete" Tinsley (March 16, 1913 – May 11, 1995) was a professional football player, born in Sumter, South Carolina, who played guard, defense and offense for eight seasons for the Green Bay Packers. He was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1979.

Phil Bengtson

John Phillip Bengtson (July 17, 1913 – December 18, 1994) was an American football player and coach. He was a longtime assistant coach in college football and the National Football League (NFL), chiefly remembered as the successor to Vince Lombardi as head coach of the Green Bay Packers in 1968.

Verne Lewellen

Verne Clark Lewellen (September 29, 1901 – April 16, 1980) was an American football player and executive.

A four-sport high school athlete, Lewellen stayed in Lincoln to attend Nebraska University, where he captained and quarterbacked the Cornhuskers to a 14-7 defeat of a Notre Dame squad in 1923. Also a pitcher, the Pittsburgh Pirates were ready to sign him until an injury from a train wreck affected his pitching arm. Jim Crowley - who played against Lewellen in the 1923 Nebraska-Notre Dame matchup - recommended Lewellen to Packer coach Curly Lambeau.He played most of his nine-year career with the Green Bay Packers. Lewellen played in 102 games for the Packers from 1924 to 1932 (in 1927, the team "lent" him to the New York Yankees for three end-of-season games) and earned all-league first team honors from 1926-29. Completing a law degree from Nebraska University during his professional football career, he ran successfully for Brown County (WI) District Attorney in 1928 against Packer teammate LaVern Dilweg and was re-elected in 1930. He lost the seat in the 1932 election and practiced law until his retirement.In 1950, he joined the Packers as a member of the executive committee, served as the Packers' general manager from 1954 through 1958 and business manager from 1961 to 1967.He was elected to the Wisconsin Athletic Hall of Fame in 1967 and the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1970.

The Professional Football Researchers Association named Lewellen to the PRFA Hall of Very Good Class of 2009

Whitey Woodin

Howard Lee "Whitey" Woodin (January 29, 1894 – February 7, 1974) was an American football player. He played with the Racine Legion and the Green Bay Packers and was inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 1973. After retiring from football, Woodin remained in Green Bay and worked for many years at Falls Power and Paper Company.

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