Continuity Defines Personnel Department

The Packers made another move to keep that unit together by promoting Eliot Wolf on Friday. A few days earlier, director of college scouting John Dorsey talked to Packer Report about a department that took hold under Wolf's father, Ron.

The Green Bay Packers promoted Eliot Wolf to assistant director of player personnel on Friday. It was the latest move to keep intact a player personnel department that was mostly put together by Wolf's legendary father, Ron.

General manager Ted Thompson was hired by Ron Wolf in 1992. Director of college scouting John Dorsey was hired as a scout in 1991 by Tom Braatz, retained by Ron Wolf in 1992 and brought back to Green Bay by Wolf in his current capacity in 2000. Director of football operations Reggie McKenzie, who was drafted by Wolf's Oakland Raiders in 1985, was hired by Wolf in 1994 as a personnel analyst. Assistant director of college scouting Shaun Herock is the Packers' longest-tenured scout, hired by Wolf in 1994. College scouting coordinator Danny Mock was hired in the same capacity by Wolf in 1997. Scouts Brian Gutekunst and Alonzo Highsmith were hired in 1999, Lee Gissendaner in 1998 and Sam Seale in 1995.

Add it together, and of the 14 men in the personnel department, nine were hired by Wolf — and that doesn't include Eliot Wolf, who was 10 when he started joining his dad in the film room. Of the other five (Eliot Wolf, Tim Terry, Jon-Eric Sullivan, Richmond Williams and Chad Brinker), they average 4.8 years with the team — a figure brought down with Brinker just completing his first season onboard.

With that much experience, it's little wonder why the Packers' personnel department is considered one of the best in the business. Not only do they have an eye for talent but their experience together means everyone is on the same page.

"You know what it says? We're fortunate to work for the finest professional sports organization in the world, bar none," Dorsey told Packer Report this week. "They give you all the resources you want. Philosophically, we build from the draft. We're going to try to get the best possible players. Everybody takes pride in that. They're all self-driven and motivated for a single mission of getting the best draft we can possibly get. But along the way, you know what, we have such a good relationship with each other. The group is very close. It's kind of like the locker room: If they enjoy what they do, it works. You know what? All of us are friends."

Those are things that Thompson referenced during our question-and-answer piece leading off the 2010 training camp preview edition of Packer Report Magazine. Thompson basically runs things the way Wolf ran them. Everybody gets a say in personnel decisions, though Thompson is in charge for a reason.

"Not everybody had a vote and this isn't a democracy or anything like that, but everybody felt like they were part of the process," Thompson said last year while recalling his time working for Wolf. "We tried to do that in Seattle and we try to do that here. I think everybody feels like they have a stake in it."

If the Packers continue having success, it's a certainty that other teams will look to Green Bay to upgrade their personnel departments. Dorsey, with a 22-month-old daughter and a 12-week-old son, said he's content with his career and life and isn't actively pursuing a new challenge.

As the top college scout, he takes pride in seeing so many of the team's draft picks leading the way in the Super Bowl.

"It's us. It's all of us. It's us as a group," Dorsey said, deflecting the credit. "I think it speaks volumes of our process. It speaks volumes of how we do things philosophically. Leadership starts from the top, and I think Ted has done a marvelous job of rebuilding this thing and leading it down the path. You know what? We'd like to get another one. To me, one is good but we're on a roll. Let's get two. Let's have some fun."

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

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