Matt LaFleur joins an elite group as the 15th head coach of the Green Bay Packers after their disappointing 100th season.
Only five of the 15 compiled winning records: Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Mike Holmgren, Mike Sherman, and Mike McCarthy, whom LeFleur replaces.
When introduced as the team’s new head coach Wednesday, LaFleur mentioned the names of the men who led the Packers to championships. A standard that he will now work to attain.
“To be following in the footsteps of Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi, Mike Holmgren, Mike McCarthy,” he said at his introductory press conference. “It’s truly an honor.”
The 39-year-old former Tennessee Titans offensive coordinator has the formidable task of reversing the fortunes of a franchise that has failed to make the playoffs the last two seasons and finished 6-9-1 and third place in the NFC North in 2018.
LaFleur was the last of 10 candidates that the Packers executives interviewed in their search, including the final seven in a three-day span.
“For me, I try to make this as simple as possible – we wanted someone who could win, and that’s what we found in Matt,” general manager Brian Gutekunst said.
“We’re ready to get after it and I think we have the perfect candidate to lead us to where we want to go. There’s one goal here, it’s always been one goal, to win world championships, and we’re excited to get started.”
President/CEO Mark Murphy was impressed with LaFleur’s football knowledge and leadership abilities.
“He has the unique combination of a quiet confidence but yet a humility,” Murphy said. “I see him having the ability and experience to really make a difference.
“I think we’ve found a gem in Matt and we’re really excited about the future under his leadership.”
LaFleur is excited about working with quarterback Aaron Rodgers and getting to know his players.
“I cannot wait to get to work with him,” LaFleur said of Rodgers. “I think he’s equally excited. There’s a lot of work to be done in front of us, but I’m just looking forward to that opportunity.
“I think we’re both on the same page. We are committed to winning, there’s no doubt about it, and he’s a competitor.”
La Fleur made it official Friday that he wants Mike Pettine to run his defense. On a Sirius XM Radio show LaFleur confirm that he retained the services of Pettine, who did a solid job with an injury-ravaged Packers defense in his first season as Packers defensive coordinator.
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