Packers promote from within for next general manager
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MILWAUKEE — The Green Bay Packers are promoting director of player personnel Brian Gutekunst to be the team’s next general manager, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.
The person requested anonymity because the team has made no formal announcement. Gutekunst would replace Ted Thompson, who is transitioning to a senior advisory role in the front office.
Gutekunst has been Green Bay’s player personnel director for nearly two years, though he has been with the Packers’ player personnel department for nearly two decades.
The Houston Chronicle first reported Sunday that Gutekunst had taken the job.
Gutekunst interned in the Packers’ scouting department in the summer of 1997. His first full-time scouting job came the following year as an assistant with the Kansas City Chiefs. He returned to the Packers as a college scout on Dec. 30, 1998, when he was hired by then-general manager and Hall of Famer Ron Wolf.
The Packers had several strong in-house candidates including Gutekunst.
“My goal is to find the right person and general manager who will be able to get us back to where we all think we should be and that’s winning Super Bowls,” team president Mark Murphy, who led the search, said last week.
Green Bay (7-9) finished with a losing record and out of the playoffs for the first time since 2008. The offense struggled after two-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers missed nine games because of a collarbone injury. On defense, veteran coordinator Dom Capers was fired after a season in which the unit failed to generate consistent pass rush and had to rely on inexperienced players at cornerback because of injuries and turnover.
Gutekunst has also experience working with coach Mike McCarthy, who received an extension during the season to put him under contract through 2019.
“I have the best job in pro football, and no disrespect to the other 31 clubs, I love it here, I want to be here, but it has to fit for me, too, McCarthy said last week. “I’ve done this job long enough, I wouldn’t want the GM to hire me or partner with me if we don’t fit together.”
McCarthy is also filling several assistant coaching vacancies, including both the offensive and defensive coordinator positions.