Packers make promotions to staff
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
Brian Gutekunst (left) and Jon-Eric Sullivan watch Senior Bowl practice in January.