Hall of Fame honors Harlan

Bob Harlan, the man who can be credited with no less than returning the Packers to glory, will be inducted into the team's Hall of Fame today.<P> Packer greats Paul Hornung and Bart Starr along with NFL commissioner Paul Tagliabue will be on hand as Harlan becomes the 131st member of the Green Bay Packer Hall of Fame. <P>

Harlan has been a member of the Packer organization for 34 years. He was hired in June 1971 as the assistant general manager under then-head coach Dan Devine. Harlan became the ninth president/CEO in team history in June 1989.

Under Harlan's direction, the franchise became its upward climb. Two years into his top role, Harlan made a move that put the Packers on the road to the Super Bowl. He hired Ron Wolf as GM in 1991.

From a football standpoint, the Harlan era has been a terrific success. Under his presidency, the Packers have the posted 12 consecutive .500 or better seasons and have been to two Super Bowls.

One of his most amazing accomplishments is seeing the team through the institution of free agency and the salary cap; the move could have killed a small town franchise, but instead the Packers own the NFL's best record, 117-59, since 1993.

Harlan was also the architect of a plan to rescued the team from a difficult financial future by launching the Lambeau Field renewal project. In 2003, the Packers unveiled the results of the three-year, $295 million redevelopment project -- the 366,000-square-foot Lambeau Field Atrium, which houses numerous dining options, the Packers Pro Shop and the Packers Hall of Fame.

"I don't know if people really believed in 2000, when we were going through the referendum, that this was a necessary step if we were going to keep up with the other teams," Harlan said in a team release. "We could just see ourselves falling tremendously after the building boom in this league started and clubs were moving into new stadiums.

"I'm so proud today that the stadium is doing exactly what we told people it was going to do. It's elevated this franchise in revenue and it's going to keep us a viable part of the National Football League."

Harlan was honored Sept. 2, 2003 with the dedication of the Robert E. Harlan Plaza on the north side of the stadium in front of the Lambeau Field Atrium. The Plaza holds statues of Curly Lambeau and Vince Lombardi.

"I never could have imagined that a plaza would be named after me or that the Hall of Fame would recognize me," Harlan said in a team release. "Those things are just hard for me to really believe have happened and I'm just so pleased to just be a part of this."


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