Packers Hire Gash, Zook in Rounding Out Staff
Gash (Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports)
Gash (Andrew Weber - USA Today Sports)
packwriter2002@yahoo.com
Posted Feb 7, 2014


Former Pro Bowler Sam Gash will coach the running backs, former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook will assist on the special teams, and Winston Moss will coach all the linebackers instead of just the inside linebackers.

The Green Bay Packers filled out their coaching staff by changing the titles of Winston Moss and Alex Van Pelt, promoting Scott McCurley to assistant linebackers coach, and hiring Sam Gash as running backs coach and Ron Zook as assistant special teams coach.

The team announced the moves on Friday.

“The offseason is progressing with the finalization of adjustments and additions to our coaching staff,” coach Mike McCarthy said in the announcement. “Every day and every decision has the focus on bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay. The evaluation process will continue with a vision to change, adjust or emphasize any aspect of our program to help us reach the attainable goal of another Super Bowl championship.”

For the past five seasons, Moss was the assistant head coach/inside linebackers and Kevin Greene was the outside linebackers coach. Rather than flat-out replacing Greene, who resigned last month to spend more time with his family, Moss will serve as assistant head coach/linebackers with McCurley being Moss’ assistant.

Moss was the Packers’ linebackers coach from 2006 through 2008, when the team ran a 4-3 scheme.

Gash was an eighth-round draft choice by the Patriots in 1992 and played in the NFL for 12 seasons. He played in 177 regular-season games and 11 playoff contests during that time. A bruising fullback, he was a Pro Bowler in 1998 and 1999; in 1999, he became the first back ever selected to the Pro Bowl without recording a rushing attempt.

Gash’s NFL career ended in 2003. In 2005 and 2006, he was an assistant running backs coach for the Jets. He was an assistant special teams coach for the Lions in 2007 and the Lions’ running backs coach from 2008 through 2012.

Gash fills the role held by Van Pelt for the past two seasons. Van Pelt, a former NFL quarterback and quarterbacks coach, will replace Ben McAdoo as quarterbacks coach. McAdoo was named the Giants’ offensive coordinator last month.

Zook was head coach at Florida from 2002 through 2004, then at Illinois from 2005 through 2011. Zook led the Illini to the Rose Bowl in 2007, when he was the Big Ten Coach of the Year. He has plenty of special teams background, including at Florida in 1994 and 1995 and the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996 through 1998. In 2000 and 2001, he was defensive coordinator with the Saints. McCarthy was the Saints’ offensive coordinator at that time.

"I knew I had to reinvent myself," Zook told CBSSports.com's Jeremy Fowler."I went back into it for the reasons you did it in the first place -- for the love of the game."

Zook replaces Chad Morton, who was not retained. He’ll join coordinator Shawn Slocum and Jason Simmons in giving the Packers three special-teams assistants.

Rounding out the staff:

-- Simmons will be a defensive/special teams assistant after serving as a coaching administrator for the past three seasons. On defense, Simmons will assist with the defensive backs. Simmons played in 121 games and intercepted two passes during a 10-year NFL career at safety.

-- John Rushing was shifted from offensive quality control to defensive quality control. He’ll be entering his sixth season on the staff. -- Luke Getsy was hired as offensive quality control coach and Chris Gizzi was named strength and conditioning assistant.

Getsy spent last season as Western Michigan’s wide receivers coach. For the previous two seasons, he was offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He was a star quarterback at Akron, where he set 24 school records in just two seasons. As a junior, he was named MVP of the 2005 MAC Championship Game and led the Zips to their first bowl game, in which he threw for a Motor City Bowl record 455 yards. He led the MAC in passing with 3,500 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2005 and the MAC in passing yards per game in 2006. Getsy, who began his collegiate playing career at Pittsburgh, signed with the 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2007.

Gizzi, who was North Carolina’s assistant football strength and conditioning coach last year, played linebacker for the Packers in 2000 and 2011. He’s best known for leading the team out of the tunnel while carrying an American flag in the team’s first game after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.


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Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report’s subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.


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