GREEN BAY — The Green Bay Packers on Monday, January 8th named longtime personnel executive Brian Gutekunst as their new general manager. He will succeed Ted Thompson. Gutekunst called it his dream job, but now he has the challenge of getting a roster that’ll bring the Packers back to the Super Bowl — and win it.
Packers President and CEO Mark Murphy issued the following statement on the Gutekunst announcement:
“We could not be more excited to elevate Brian to the position of general manager. He has earned this opportunity throughout his 19 years with the Packers, proving to not only be a skilled talent evaluator, but a trusted and collaborative leader. His time under the direction of former Packers general managers Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson will undoubtedly serve him well as we work toward our next Super Bowl championship. I am confident that he is the man that will help get us there.”
Murphy said the Packers will now have three people answering directly to the president — Head Coach Mike McCarthy, new Executive VP of Football Operations Russ Ball and Gutekunst.
“I will lead in my own personality and probably a little bit more aggressive in certain areas. I don’t think we will leave any stone unturned as far as every avenue of player acquisition. Our guys are really excited about that. Just the conversations over the past 24 hours, we are really excited to kind of delve into things that we haven’t done in a while,” Gutekunst said.
He also figures to be more media friendly than Ted Thompson.
“I think I have responsibility, not only to the team and this organization, but to the Packers’ fans alike. A lot of times when there wasn’t communication, there was perception, and I think if we can communicate clearly, I think that will take care of some of that,” Gutekunst said.
He vowed to remain a relatable guy, a relationship guy, the kind of guy who was himself to get to this spot in the first place.
“I have great relationship with Mike. I have a great relationship with Russ and Eliot (Wolf) and I think that will continue throughout the building and I think that’s something I really look forward to because obviously within the personnel department I have those relationships, but as I grow here throughout the building, I think that’s something that I look forward to,” Gutekunst said.
According to Packers.com, Gutekunst played 2 years of college football for the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse before a shoulder injury cut short his playing career.
After assisting the New Orleans Saints’ coaching staff during training camp in 1995, Gutekunst first came to Green Bay as a scouting intern in the summer of 1997. He then spent a year as a scouting assistant in Kansas City before joining Pro Football Hall of Fame GM Ron Wolf’s scouting staff in 1998.
Gutekunst spent his first 13 seasons with the Packers as a college scout, serving as an East Coast regional scout for his first 2 years (1999-2000), before presiding over some of the top college programs in the country as the team’s Southeast region scout from 2001-11.
The Packers said Gutekunst was promoted to his most recent position as the director of player personnel on March 21st, 2016. It was Gutekunst’s second promotion in 5 years after serving as the Packers’ director of college scouting from 2012-15.