Pack­ers make pro­mo­tions to staff

Packer Plus - - News - Michael Co­hen

Green Bay — With his first draft as Green Bay Pack­ers gen­eral man­ager be­hind him, Brian Gutekunst has fleshed out his per­son­nel de­part­ment to off­set the losses of two key ex­ec­u­tives and a col­lege scout ear­lier this year.

The Pack­ers an­nounced re­cently that Jon-Eric Sul­li­van and Jon Wo­j­ciechowski have been pro­moted to co-di­rec­tors of player per­son­nel, ef­fec­tively mak­ing them the top-rank­ing of­fi­cials un­der Gutekunst. They are es­sen­tially fill­ing the roles va­cated by Eliot Wolf and Alonzo High­smith, both of whom ac­cepted high-rank­ing jobs with the Cleve­land Browns in Jan­uary.

Sul­li­van, 41, spent the last two sea­sons as di­rec­tor of col­lege scout­ing and played a cru­cial role in aid­ing Gutekunst through this year’s draft. Wo­j­ciechowski, 54, spent last sea­son as the di­rec­tor of pro per­son­nel.

To re­place Sul­li­van, who many around the league view as Gutekunst’s right-hand man, the Pack­ers have pro­moted Matt Malaspina to di­rec­tor of col­lege scout­ing. Malaspina is en­ter­ing his 21st sea­son in the NFL and joined the Pack­ers as a col­lege scout in 2017. The bulk of his ex­pe­ri­ence came with the San Fran­cisco 49ers (2005-’16) and Seat­tle Sea­hawks (2000-’04).

Gutekunst also pro­moted Sam Seale, who is ar­guably the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s most trusted scout away from Lam­beau Field. Seale has spent more than 20 years with the Pack­ers and worked pri­mar­ily as the West re­gional scout. Now he en­ters a new role as the team’s only na­tional scout.

Chad Brinker, who spent the last six years as a pro scout, has been pro­moted to as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of pro scout­ing/salary cap an­a­lyst. The lat­ter por­tion of Brinker’s ti­tle sug­gests the Pack­ers may be groom­ing him as a po­ten­tial suc­ces­sor to Russ Ball, the team’s ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent and di­rec­tor of foot­ball op­er­a­tions. Among Ball’s pri­mary re­spon­si­bil­i­ties are salary cap man­age­ment and con­tract ne­go­ti­a­tion.

Ball, 58, would like an op­por­tu­nity to be a gen­eral man­ager at some point in his ca­reer, ac­cord­ing to an in­ter­view with his old­est brother, Rick Ball, last spring.

Ad­di­tional pro­mo­tions in­cluded the el­e­va­tion of Luke Benuska from pro scout to col­lege scout, where he will re­place Seale in han­dling the West re­gion, and the de­ci­sion to make for­mer Pack­ers safety Bran­dian Ross a full-time col­lege scout af­ter he worked as a scout­ing as­sis­tant last year.

Gutekunst also added a new face to his per­son­nel de­part­ment by hir­ing col­lege scout Pat Moore from the Cleve­land Browns. The hir­ing of Moore, who worked in a sim­i­lar role with the Browns, off­sets the loss of col­lege scout Alonzo Dot­son af­ter Dot­son took a job with the New York Jets ear­lier in May. That Gutekunst en­trusted Moore to scout the South­east re­gion, which is col­lege foot­ball’s most fer­tile ter­ri­tory, re­flects his level of re­spect for the new­est hire.

Moore spent five years as a col­lege scout for the Browns af­ter con­vert­ing from the coach­ing side of foot­ball. His coach­ing rè­sumè in­cludes stints with Ford­ham (as­sis­tant head coach/of­fen­sive line from 2010-’11, de­fen­sive co­or­di­na­tor in 2009 and lineback­ers spe­cial teams coach from 2007-’08); Louisiana Tech (2005-’06); Auburn (2002-’04); Western Carolina (2000-’01) and Illi­nois Wes­leyan (1997), which is his alma mater.

Here’s a com­plete look at the Pack­ers’ per­son­nel de­part­ment: ❚ Brian Gutekunst, gen­eral man­ager ❚ Ted Thomp­son, se­nior ad­vi­sor to foot­ball op­er­a­tions

❚ Jon-Eric Sul­li­van, co-di­rec­tor of player per­son­nel

❚ John Wo­j­ciechowski, co-di­rec­tor of player per­son­nel

❚ Matt Malaspina, di­rec­tor of col­lege scout­ing ❚ Sam Seale, na­tional scout ❚ Chad Brinker, as­sis­tant di­rec­tor of pro scout­ing/salary cap an­a­lyst ❚ Rich­mond Wil­liams, pro scout ❚ Luke Benuska, col­lege scout (West) ❚ Joe Hue­ber, col­lege scout (Mid­west)

❚ Pat Moore, col­lege scout (South­east)

❚ Mike Owen, col­lege scout (North­east)

❚ Char­lie Peprah, col­lege scout (Na­tional Foot­ball Scout­ing)

❚ Charles Walls, col­lege scout (South­west)

❚ Bran­dian Ross, col­lege scout (Mid­lands)

❚ Danny Mock, col­lege scout­ing co­or­di­na­tor

❚ Au­tumn Thomas-Bee­nenga, pro per­son­nel co­or­di­na­tor

GREGG PACHKOWSKI / PENSACOLA NEWS JOUR­NAL

Brian Gutekunst (left) and Jon-Eric Sul­li­van watch Se­nior Bowl prac­tice in Jan­uary.

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