Ron Wolf will be going into the Pro Football Hall of Fame later this summer and deservedly so.
The reason he’ll be going in is because of his work as general manager of the Green Bay Packers. No one person was more responsible for resurrecting a franchise that had been a joke for two decades and turning them into the perennial winner you know today than Wolf.
When Wolf took the job back in 1991, it wasn’t seen as a desirable position.
In fact, you have to think if Wolf had received another offer, he would have taken it. As fate would have it (or as Bob Harlan would have it), the Packers offered and Wolf pounced because he thought it was the last shot he’d get to run a team.
“When I had the opportunity to come to Green Bay, people my age weren’t being hired,” said Wolf, who was 52 when he was hired. “I was convinced I would never again have an opportunity to run my own show, if you will. However, the Giants had hired George Young and the Jets had hired Dick Steinberg. Suddenly, people my age were available to get back in.
“I just wanted to get my foot in the door. I didn’t care where it was. I just wanted to have an opportunity to prove that I can carry the load.”
Wolf had previously served as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vice president of operations from 1975 to early 1978. That was his only other opportunity to run a team’s football operations and the Bucs won just seven games over those first three seasons.
Wolf was a longtime scout with the Raiders and served under the aforementioned Steinberg for a year and half with the Jets prior to joining the Packers.
You can see how he may have thought he wouldn’t get another opportunity to run a team. It took 13 years for anyone to offer Wolf a top job after the Tampa Bay debacle.
So, he jumped at the chance to go to what was then considered the butthole of the NFL and thank god he did!
Excellent article. Ron Wolf gets praise. But nowhere near what he should be getting. That changes August 8th in Canton, Ohio.
The perfect contract, when both parties are happy with the outcome for years after the contract is complete, including millions of Packer fans. The perfect situation for all parties.