Green Bay Packers Add Former Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook to Staff

By Connor Muldowney
Ron Zook
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It took a couple of years, but Ron Zook has finally found a new home and he will be with the Green Bay Packers as an assistant coach of some capacity. It’s still unclear what he will be coaching when he joins the staff, but signs point to outside linebackers coach because that position is the main opening on the staff due to a resignation of the coach last month.

Zook has been off duty as a coach in football since 2011 when he was fired from the Illinois Fighting Illini job after going just 34-51 in seven seasons as the head coach — leading the team to a Rose Bowl loss in 2007.

It seems like the defensive-minded coach will be a great fit as an NFL assistant and he will benefit from not having all of the coaching duties placed on his shoulders — it didn’t seem like that was his bread and butter. In fact, Zook was just a combined 57-65 overall and 34-46 in conference play as the head coach of Illinois and the Florida Gators.

Zook spent many years as a college defensive coach of sorts — rotating between defensive backs coach and defensive coordinator for various schools. He then reached the next level in 1996 and was the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ special teams coach — another position he could aid with the Packers. He held that position until 1998 before snagging the defensive backs coaching job with the Kansas City Chiefs.

After holding that spot for a year, he became the New Orleans Saints‘ defensive coordinator from 2000-01.

It looks like Zook has a pretty solid defensive mind and he will be a good fit on an already-impressive Packers staff.

Connor Muldowney is a columnist for Follow him on Twitter @Connormuldowney, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google. You can also reach him at

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