Zook, Gash added as Packers finalize coaching staff

After Ron Zook was fired from Illinois in November 2011, he had most recently been working as a business development officer at a bank in Florida.

Rob Christy-USA TODAY Sports

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Mike McCarthy is adding a familiar face to the Green Bay Packers coaching staff, officially hiring Ron Zook as the new assistant special teams coach.

Zook replaces Chad Morton, who the Packers released after five years with the staff.

Zook was the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints for the 2000 and 2001 seasons, a time during which McCarthy was the Saints’ offensive coordinator. Zook was the head coach at the University of Florida from 2002-2004 and was the head coach at the University of Illinois from 2005-11. He was a special teams coach for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996-98.

After Zook was fired from Illinois in November 2011, he had most recently been working as a business development officer at a bank in Florida.

This was far from the only coaching move made official by Green Bay. Three weeks after outside linebackers coach Kevin Greene left the team to spend more time with his family, the Packers found a replacement for him. Sort of. Winston Moss, who was already the inside linebackers coach and assistant head coach, is now the team’s linebackers coach. That means Moss will coach both inside and outside linebackers. Green Bay hired Scott McCurley to be the assistant linebackers coach.

The Packers also hired Sam Gash to be the team’s new running backs coach. This was a job that was open as a result of Alex Van Pelt moving from Green Bay’s running backs coach to its quarterbacks coach. Former quarterbacks coach Ben McAdoo was hired this offseason to be the New York Giants offensive coordinator.

Gash was the Lions’ running backs coach from 2008-12. During his NFL playing career at fullback, Gash was a two-time Pro Bowl selection.

Other new coaching hires included Jason Simmons as defensive/special teams assistant, John Rushing as defensive quality control, Luke Getsy as offensive quality control and Chris Gizzi as strength and conditioning assistant.

"The offseason is progressing with the finalization of adjustments and additions to our coaching staff," coach Mike McCarthy said in a statement. "Every day and every decision has the focus on bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Green Bay. The evaluation process will continue with a vision to change, adjust or emphasize any aspect of our program to help us reach the attainable goal of another Super Bowl championship."

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