|About Ron Wolf
|Ron Wolf, Former Green Bay Packer General Manager
Ron Wolf was hired by the Green Bay Packers on Nov. 27, 1991 with
a mandate to rescue perhaps the NFL’s most storied franchise from nearly a
quarter-century of mediocrity. When Wolf arrived in Green Bay with four games
remaining in the 1991 season, the Packers were hurtling toward a 4-12 finish.
legendary Vince Lombardi had retired as coach following the 1967 season, the
Packers had compiled an overall record of 146-201-9, a dismal .422 winning
percentage, in the intervening 24 seasons. During that stretch, the Packers had
enjoyed only five winning seasons and had gone to the playoffs just twice.
Worse yet, this
once proud franchise, which had won five National Football League championships
in nine years and the first two Super Bowls under Lombardi, had lost favor with
many of its fans for not only its losing ways, but a series of off-the-field
embarrassments that had given both the Packers and the City of Green Bay a
Things were so bad that Sports Illustrated’s
venerable Frank Deford wrote in a 1987 article titled, “Troubled Times in Title
Town,” that it was time to move the Packers out of the NFL’s smallest city.
“Actually, the answer to Green Bay’s dilemma is
simple,” wrote Deford. “It should sell the franchise to Milwaukee for $60
million or whatever, and then take that money and pour it all into the athletic
department at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.”
Amidst this gloom and doom, Wolf declared upon his
arrival: “I was brought here to win.” And win he did. But first he hired Mike
Holmgren, a highly respected assistant with the San Francisco 49ers, to be his
head coach and then he traded for an unproven quarterback named Brett Favre.
Holmgren, who had been highly sought after by other
NFL teams, gave the Packers some renewed credibility. Favre would give them 16
years of electrifying performances that all but guarantee his induction into
the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
The Packers finished 9-7 in Wolf’s first full season
at the helm and kept getting better each year thereafter until they won Super
Bowl XXXI. Over Wolf’s tenure, the Packers had the second-best winning
percentage in the NFL at 92-52, a .639 percentage. They enjoyed nine winning
seasons and seven playoff appearances in 10 years.
Then after Wolf retired following the 2000 season,
his legacy continued to grow as the Packers cemented their place as one of the
NFL’s model franchises. Under the leadership of General Manager Ted Thompson
and others that Wolf hired for their first jobs in pro football administration
and then trained, the Packers have continued to be an NFL power over two
Over the past 20 seasons, they’ve finished with a
winning record 16 times, made the playoffs 14 times and won another Super Bowl.
What’s more, their popularity among fans has never
been greater and their image has never been better.