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  • Thu., Apr. 17, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Superior party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Superior: Superior High School. To benefit the National Bank Commerce Spartan Sports Complex. Tickets on sale at Screen Graphics, 1327 Banks Ave., Superior.

  • Fri., Apr. 18, 2014 6:00PM - 8:30PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Rice Lake party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Rice Lake: Barron County Fairgrounds. To benefit Benjamin’s House. Tickets on sale at Marketplace Foods, 330 S. Main St., Rice Lake; and Rainbow Home Center, 1124 Hammond Ave., Rice Lake.

  • Sat., Apr. 19, 2014 12:30PM - 3:00PM CDT Tailgate Tour: Merrill party

    The Green Bay Packers announced plans for the ninth ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour,’ set for April 15-19. This year’s tour includes two stops in Michigan, in addition to three Wisconsin stops, to visit with fans and thank them in person for their support.

    Tour celebrities will include Packers President/CEO Mark Murphy, players Jarrett Bush, Brad Jones and Mason Crosby, and Packers alumni Paul Coffman, Lynn Dickey and James Lofton.

    The tailgate parties will welcome the players and alumni arriving at each location at 6 p.m., and will run until 8:30 p.m., except in Merrill, where the tailgate party will take place from 12:30 to 3 p.m. A local non-profit organization will host each party which will feature food, giveaways, question-and-answer sessions and autographs. Tailgate party tickets cost $30.

    General admission tickets also will be available for $5, which includes access to the Q-and-A sessions as well as tailgate party activities. Food and beverage will be available for purchase. Due to space limitations, no general admission tickets will be available in Ironwood. 

    One hundred percent of the Tailgate Tour proceeds will benefit the hosting organizations.

    Tickets for the tailgate parties at all locations will go on sale Friday, Feb. 28. ‘Green Bay Packers Tailgate Tour’ tailgate party locations, hosting organizations and ticket information are as follows:

    Merrill: MARC. To benefit Riverbend Trail. Tickets on sale at Merrill Chamber of Commerce, 705 N. Center Ave., Merrill; Dave’s County Market, 300 E. 1st St., Merrill; and Drew’s Piggly Wiggly, 3404 E. Main St., Merrill. Tickets also available online at www.merrillchamber.org.

  • Sat., Apr. 26, 2014 8:00AM - 6:00PM CDT Packers Pro Shop Tent Sale

    The sale is taking place earlier than in previous years, due to the construction at Lambeau Field and the work that the Pro Shop team must complete in preparation for the new store, which will open this summer. Visitors to Lambeau Field should enter the Atrium through the Oneida Nation Gate. Parking is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate, which can be accessed off Oneida Street and Lombardi Avenue.

    The sale will feature the traditional mix of Pro Shop items greatly reduced in price and other special purchases.

    The team’s football operations staff also has provided Packers team apparel no longer in use, including a large assortment of t-shirts, shorts, jackets, jerseys and pants. Some items are practice-worn gear not normally available in the Pro Shop.

    The tent sale began in 1994 in the parking lot outside the former Pro Shop on the north end of Lambeau Field and grew into a popular event. Now in its 11th year in the Atrium, the tent sale also was held in the west side stadium concourse in previous years.

     
  • Sat., May. 10, 2014 7:00PM CDT Eddie Lacy appearance 22nd Annual Doug Jirschele Memorial Sports Award Banquet
  • Sat., Jun. 07, 2014 8:30AM - 3:30PM CDT JPP Kids Clinic

    The 17th annual Junior Power Pack Kids Clinic is set for Saturday, June 7, 2014 in the Don Hutson Center with sessions ranging from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic gives members ages 5-14 years old the opportunity to practice football skills and drills with other Packers backers and a few up-and-coming Packers players.  Parents/Guardians are welcome to come and watch their child/ren participate in the clinic. 

    Members may choose one of three sessions to attend:

    • Session 1 – 8:30 to 10 a.m.
    • Session 2 – 11 to 12:30 p.m.
    • Session 3 – 2 to 3:30 p.m.


    The event will be held inside the Don Hutson Center, the Packers indoor practice facility. Parking for the event is available in the lot on Lambeau Field’s east side near the Oneida Nation Gate.  

    The Junior Power Pack Clinic is a member’s only event and will have a registration fee of $5.

    Deadline to register:

    • New Members – May 11, 2014
    • Current Members – May 18, 2014


    To sign up to become a member of the Junior Power Pack and receive an invitation to the clinic fans can go to www.packers.com/jpp.

     

Front Office

Ted Thompson
General Manager

Biography

  • Of the 53 players on Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV championship roster, 49 of them had been acquired by Thompson since 2005.
  • Green Bay’s seven Pro Bowl selections in 2011 were the most the Packers had voted into the game since 1967, with six of those players either drafted or signed by Thompson.
  • Named NFL Executive of the Year in 2008 and 2011 by Sporting News in a vote of his peers.
  • 2013 will be the first season during his Green Bay tenure in which every player on the roster was acquired by Thompson.
  • Since 2005, 16 rookie free agents have made the opening-day roster under Thompson, including 10 over the past three seasons (2010-12), tying the Packers for second most in the NFL over that span.
  • Named to his position on Jan. 14, 2005, his second stint with the organization. Earlier served eight years with Packers (1992-99) – as assistant director of pro personnel (1992), director of pro personnel (1993-96) and director of player personnel (1997-99).
  • Served five seasons (2000-04) as the Seattle Seahawks’ vice president of football operations.
  • Combining the drafts he has run in Seattle and Green Bay, 22 of Thompson’s selections have earned Pro Bowl, All-Pro or All-Rookie honors.
  • Nine starters on Seattle’s Super Bowl XL team, including league MVP RB Shaun Alexander and K Josh Brown, were drafted by the Seahawks during Thompson’s tenure.
  • Enjoyed a 10-year playing career with the Houston Oilers (1975-84), becoming one of the most durable players in Houston annals by playing in 146 of 147 games, missing just one contest due to injury. Originally signed by Bum Phillips as a non-drafted free agent.
  • Was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and team captain (’74) for SMU, gaining Academic All-Southwest Conference honors, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and also lettering in baseball as a senior.


Ted Thompson firmly believes that the best way to build a successful team is by drafting and developing players, with free agency playing a complementary role in addressing specific needs.

Now eight-plus years into his tenure as Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, Thompson’s philosophy was further validated in 2010 with a win in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th world championship.

A look at the Packers’ roster for Super Bowl XLV indicates a team truly built by Thompson. Nineteen of 22 starters and 49 of 53 players on the roster were acquired by Thompson via the draft, free agency, trades or the waiver wire during his time in Green Bay.

Thompson’s approach was reaffirmed in 2011 and 2012 as Green Bay added to one of its most successful stretches in team history. While the Packers came up short in their quest to win another Super Bowl championship the past two seasons, Green Bay finished with a franchise-best 15 regular-season wins in 2011 while also capturing back-to-back division titles in 2011-12 for the first time since it won three straight from 2002-04. The 2012 season also marked the Packers’ fourth straight playoff appearance and fifth in the last six seasons, making them the only NFC team to accomplish those feats.

Following the 2012 season, four players acquired by Thompson, LB Clay Matthews, QB Aaron Rodgers, C Jeff Saturday and G Josh Sitton, earned Pro Bowl honors. A first-round selection by Thompson in 2009, Matthews became the first Packer to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. For Rodgers, it marked his second consecutive selection and third overall (also 2009). Thompson’s first draft selection as Green Bay’s GM in 2005, Rodgers also earned Most Valuable Player honors for Super Bowl XLV and captured the prestigious NFL MVP award following the 2011 campaign. A fourth-round pick by Thompson in 2008, Sitton made his first appearance in the postseason all-star game.

The combined achievements authored by the 2010 and ’11 teams assembled by Thompson have a prominent place in Packers’ and NFL history. Covering a span of 364 days, Green Bay won 19 consecutive games (including postseason) over the two seasons. The 19-game winning streak began in Week 16 of 2010 and lasted until Green Bay suffered its lone regular-season defeat at Kansas City in Week 15 of the 2011 season. The streak was the longest in franchise history and was the second-longest winning streak in NFL history (including playoffs) behind only the 2003-04 New England Patriots (21 games). Perhaps most impressively, the Packers never trailed in the fourth quarter during their 19-game winning streak.

The 2011 Packers captured their second NFC North title under Thompson and first since 2007, and as a result, earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time since 1996. The Packers finished the 2011 campaign with a perfect 8-0 record at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2002.

Seven of Thompson’s players were selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2011 campaign, the most the Packers have had voted to the all-star game since 1967. The selections included WR Greg Jennings, FB John Kuhn, Matthews, NT B.J. Raji, Rodgers, C Scott Wells and CB Charles Woodson. Six of the selections were acquired by Thompson as Jennings, Matthews, Raji and Rodgers were draft picks while Kuhn was claimed off waivers and Woodson was signed as a free agent. It was the fourth straight Pro Bowl selection for Woodson, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 who was signed by Thompson in ’06.

In 2010, the Packers posted a 10-6 mark and qualified for the postseason for the third time under Thompson. Winners of three straight playoff games on the road, Green Bay became just the second No. 6 seed (2005 Steelers) to win a Super Bowl since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990.

The Packers featured eight Pro Bowl selections in 2010, with five of the players being voted to the initial squad. Four of the eight players were draft picks of Thompson’s and two more were signed as free agents.

What made the Packers’ championship season in 2010 even more notable was the adversity the team faced due to injuries. Green Bay finished the year with 15 players on injured reserve, and eight of them had started at least one game on the season. Six starters from the opening-day depth chart sustained season-ending injuries in the first seven games.

Because of those injuries, the roster depth that Thompson had built during his tenure came to the fore. Rookies such as T Bryan Bulaga, a first-round draft pick in 2010, and CB Sam Shields and LB Frank Zombo, both non-drafted free agents in ’10, were called upon to step into prominent roles. A pair of fourth-year players, LB Desmond Bishop and S Charlie Peprah, moved into the starting lineup and became key cogs on defense after contributing primarily on special teams earlier in their careers. RB James Starks, a sixth-round pick in 2010 who was limited to just three games during the regular season because of an injury, led the NFL with 315 rushing yards in the postseason, third most in league annals by a rookie RB in the playoffs.

The Packers’ Super Bowl XLV team was a direct reflection of the philosophy that Thompson has held true to throughout his Green Bay tenure, one that should put the franchise in good position to contend for championships on an annual basis.

Since taking over as GM in 2005, Thompson has focused on rebuilding and improving the bulk of the roster, mostly through the draft.

In his first four drafts from 2005-08, Thompson utilized 14 trades, all but one of them down, to turn 31 picks into 43 selections, plus an extra choice in ’09. In 2009-10, however, his trades went in the other direction as the improved roster core allowed him to focus less on the overall quantity of picks. Those two years, Thompson traded up for specific players he had targeted in certain rounds.

In ’09, after selecting Raji out of Boston College with the No. 9 overall selection in the first round, Thompson traded a second-round pick and two third-round selections – Nos. 41, 73 and 83 overall – to New England to get another crack at a first-round talent. He moved up 15 spots to No. 26 overall and nabbed Matthews out of Southern California, while also receiving a 2009 fifth-round pick in return from the Patriots.

Just like that, not only did Thompson give the Packers two first-round draft choices for the first time in 16 years, he added highly touted prospects at the two linchpin positions in the 3-4 defense – a middle anchor and outside pass rusher.

In addition to Matthews earning a Pro Bowl bid as a rookie, both he and Raji made the prestigious Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team. Their success has continued in the subsequent seasons following their rookie campaigns. Matthews has earned four consecutive Pro Bowl invitations (2009-12) while also finishing as the runner-up to Steelers S Troy Polamalu for 2010 Defensive Player of the Year honors from The Associated Press. In 2010, Raji posted 6½ sacks, the most by an NFL nose tackle since 1990, and following the 2011 season, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection.

Bulaga, the No. 23 overall pick in 2010, went on to start the final 12 regular-season contests at RT as a rookie in place of injured veteran Mark Tauscher, and also opened all four playoff games. Bulaga was named to the All-Rookie team by PFW, joining Raji and Matthews as three straight first-round picks by Thompson to be honored by the publication. Since solidifying his role as a starter in 2011, Bulaga has developed into one of the best young tackles in the league.

Despite coming off a world championship in 2010 and featuring one of the deepest rosters in the league, the Packers received consistent contributions from Thompson’s 2011 draft class in their rookie seasons. Second-round pick WR Randall Cobb made an immediate impact in his pro debut vs. New Orleans with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that matched the NFL record. He finished the season ranked No. 2 in the NFL (No. 1 among rookies) with a 27.7-yard kickoff return average and No. 7 in the league (No. 2 among rookies) with an 11.3-yard punt return average. For his efforts, Cobb was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team as the kick returner. Cobb continued to excel in 2012, setting a franchise record and ranking first in the NFL with 2,342 combined net yards. Additionally, Cobb led the team with 80 receptions and 954 receiving yards last season.

Never afraid to be aggressive on draft day, Thompson was at it again during the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts. The 2012 draft saw him trade up three times over the course of the weekend. Highlighted by first-round pick LB Nick Perry of USC and second-round pick DE Jerel Worthy of Michigan State, Thompson used the first six of the team’s eight picks overall on defense. While Perry and Worthy look to rebound from injuries that ended their promising rookie campaigns, second-round pick CB Casey Hayward produced one of the finest seasons by a rookie in team history. Hayward’s six interceptions led the team and were tied for fifth in the NFL, en route to him becoming the first Packers cornerback to be named to the Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-Rookie Team (since 1974). Combining the drafts he has run in Seattle and Green Bay, 22 of Thompson’s selections have earned Pro Bowl, All-Pro or All-Rookie honors.

The Packers entered the 2013 draft with eight picks, but Thompson again relied on trades to finish the weekend with 11 selections. In all, Thompson made four trades, including three down, to produce the 2013 draft class. The first round saw the Packers draft a defender out of the state of California for the second year in a row in UCLA DE Datone Jones. However, by the end of the weekend, Thompson had also injected some youth into the offense by selecting two high-profile running backs in Eddie Lacy of Alabama and Johnathan Franklin, also of UCLA.

In addition to building through the draft, Thompson has developed his roster through the signing of undrafted free agents. Since 2005, 16 rookie free agents have made the opening-day roster under Thompson. More impressively, 10 non-drafted rookies have made the opening-day roster in the past three seasons (2010-12), tying the Packers for second most in the NFL over that span.

 

Thompson followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Ron Wolf, in becoming Green Bay’s GM, and in 2008 he joined Wolf in becoming only the second person in the history of the organization to be recognized as the best in his field in a vote of his peers as the NFL Executive of the Year by Sporting News. He further cemented his reputation in the NFL by winning the award for a second time following the Packers’ record-setting 2011 season.

Preceding his first award, Thompson left an undeniable stamp on the Packers’ successful 2007 season. In just his third campaign as GM, he assembled a roster that was the youngest yet one of the most talented in the NFL, and the Packers went 13-3, won the NFC North Division title, and advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the first time in a decade.

“I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of the Green Bay Packers,” the humble Thompson said in 2008. “We view this as a team honor and feel the coaches, players and staff should all be very proud of the job they’ve done in helping this franchise succeed.”

The prestigious award acknowledged Thompson for his diligence and success as the team came within an overtime field goal of advancing to the Super Bowl. But it also served as recognition for Thompson’s overall body of work since taking his current position in 2005.

One of the biggest additions to the playoff-bound team came from a key trade. Thompson acquired RB Ryan Grant from the New York Giants at the end of training camp for a sixth-round draft choice, adding the former Notre Dame standout to a crowded but banged-up backfield.

Grant eventually took over as the feature back midway through the season and proceeded to rush for nearly 1,000 yards, adding 201 yards and three TDs in the NFC Divisional playoff victory over Seattle, both Green Bay postseason records. He went on to add back-to-back 1,200-yard campaigns in 2008-09.

Surprising many with the hiring of Mike McCarthy as head coach in January 2006, Thompson embarked on turning around a 4-12 team beset by injuries and salary-cap concerns in his first season. The improvement to an 8-8 mark in 2006, followed by the playoff run in 2007, netted McCarthy the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year award and placed both Thompson and his chief hire at the top of their professions.

Thompson’s career as a football executive came full circle on Jan. 14, 2005. That day, former Green Bay Packers CEO Bob Harlan gave him full authority over all aspects of football operations for the storied franchise.

In becoming the 10th general manager in club history, Thompson rejoined the team with which he received his start under Wolf in 1992. After working for the legendary general manager through the 1999 season, Thompson spent five years as vice president of football operations for the Seattle Seahawks.

“It’s almost a dream come true-type job,” Thompson said. “You think about, when you’re a young kid, some of the things you’d like to do when you grow up and you think maybe manager of the New York Yankees or maybe the general manager of the Green Bay Packers. So it’s a thrill, it’s an honor.”

For Harlan, the selection of Thompson to lead Green Bay’s football fortunes was an easy choice, and Thompson has validated that confidence in his selection by successfully remaking the roster into one he and the organization believe is built for long-term success.

“I feel Ted is a perfect fit for the Packers,” Harlan said, introducing Thompson in 2005. “He is a respected National Football League veteran who is a proven talent evaluator and an efficient administrator. He knows the people in our personnel department and he is familiar with how we run our football operation. He embraces the Packers’ championship tradition, and he was very anxious to have the opportunity to return to Green Bay.”

Now in his 32nd NFL season, including 10 years as a player, Thompson knows and respects the position the Packers hold in the hearts of the fans, and around the league.

“The history and tradition of this place is unrivaled in professional sports,” Thompson said. “I understand the passion the people here have for their team. Ron (Wolf) told me this is the best job in the National Football League. I never forgot that.”

The 60-year-old Thompson not only joined an organization with which he was familiar, but also oversees a respected staff that includes Eliot Wolf, director of pro personnel, Brian Gutekunst, director of college scouting, and Alonzo Highsmith, senior personnel executive.

Former Thompson staffers include current Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Raiders director-college scouting Shaun Herock and Seattle Seahawks executive vice president/general manager John Schneider.

Almost immediately upon taking over, Thompson made a crucial choice for the long-term benefit of the club. In the 2005 NFL Draft, Rodgers had been projected as high as the No. 1 overall pick, but he wasn’t taken there and ended up sliding all the way down to the Packers at No. 24. One year later, Thompson handed Rodgers to an accomplished quarterback mentor in McCarthy to mold him into the team’s signal caller of the future.

In 2008-09, following the retirement and subsequent trade of Brett Favre, Rodgers became the first quarterback in league history to eclipse 4,000 yards passing in each of his first two seasons as a starter. Rodgers surpassed the 4,000-yard mark again in 2011 and 2012 and has posted 21,332 passing yards the past five seasons. That total ranks first in NFL history for the most passing yards by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter, surpassing the previous mark held by Peyton Manning (20,618, 1998-2002). Rodgers’ career passer rating of 104.9 ranks No. 1 in NFL history, and his 122.5 passer rating in 2011 set a single-season NFL record, topping Manning’s 121.1 mark in 2004. Additionally, Rodgers’ 1.73 career interception percentage is tops in NFL history.

Although Thompson prefers to shift the spotlight in another direction, his fingerprints were also all over the Seahawks’ road to Super Bowl XL during the 2005 season. NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, Thompson’s first draft pick in Seattle, in 2000, captured the 2005 league rushing title and established a then-single-season NFL record with 28 touchdowns. Nine of Seattle’s Super Bowl starters, as well as K Josh Brown, were drafted by Thompson. That list included G Steve Hutchinson, a Pro Bowler in seven of his 12 NFL seasons.

Seattle could’ve gone in another direction in the 2000 draft. With perennial 1,000-yard rusher Ricky Watters on the roster, the club didn’t need a running back in the first round. But with the Seahawks on the clock holding the 19th overall choice, Alexander was the best player available. One year later, in the 2001 draft, Thompson wanted Hutchinson in a similar situation.

“You have to do what you think is best for the organization,” Thompson said before the 2006 draft, when he chose LB A.J. Hawk with the fifth overall selection. “A draft is an investment in a player that’s going to be here for a number of years.”

Thompson’s philosophy on building a successful team relies heavily on drafted players as a foundation. In today’s NFL, teams can’t win consistently with free agency as their primary tool. And in building through the draft, the Packers place a premium on character.

But despite how much value he places on the draft, Thompson also will use the free-agent market as another tool to build the roster. In Green Bay, he has brought in players like Woodson and DT Ryan Pickett, among others, to either take over starting jobs or provide valuable, experienced depth at their positions.

“I think free agency is a very interesting tool to use to help you patch some holes and do some things,” said Thompson, who signed five unrestricted free agents in 2006, the Packers’ most since 1998. “There’s no reluctance on our part. We do try to make certain that what we do is not just fantasy football. We’re investing in a player that’s got to come in and play a particular role. If we don’t think that player can perform to that contract, then it doesn’t make sense for us to do it just to say, ‘Look what we’ve spent.’”

 

In Green Bay annals, Thompson is only the fourth general manager to serve exclusively from the front office, joining Verne Lewellen (1954-58), Vince Lombardi (1968) and Wolf (1992-2000).

The low-profile Thompson has a proven track record as an evaluator. Overseeing Seattle’s draft board from 2000 through ’04, Thompson provided the Seahawks a solid foundation which they used to make three straight playoff appearances (2003-05). His 2003 draft saw Thompson land three players – Brown, CB Marcus Trufant and S Ken Hamlin – who not only made immediate front-line contributions as rookies, but who also became cornerstone players for years to come.

Just one year later, those three were instrumental in Seattle’s 2004 NFC West championship. In the Seahawks’ playoff game that year, 11 of 22 starters were acquired through Thompson’s drafts. In his first two Green Bay drafts, Thompson selected S Nick Collins in 2005 and Hawk, Jennings and G Daryn Colledge in 2006. All four were named to the PFW All-Rookie Team. In ’07, he drafted K Mason Crosby, whose 762 career points from 2007-12 are the most in NFL history by a player in his first six seasons.

Prior to 2009, Thompson selected 43 players in his first four drafts as GM, signaling the rebuilding of the roster core that had seen only 27 draft picks in the four years (2001-04) before Thompson returned to Green Bay.

As a result, offseason competition for positions on Green Bay’s 53-man roster has been fierce since Thompson took over, and should only become more intense in training camp in 2013. The goal is to improve the team’s play through competition, just as it was when Bum Phillips annually brought in younger talent to try to take Thompson’s job during the former linebacker’s 10-year playing career with the Houston Oilers.

A former Oilers teammate, Mike Reinfeldt, helped to launch Thompson’s second football career. In 1992, Reinfeldt, then the Packers’ vice president of administration, recommended that Wolf take a look at Thompson as a potential pro scout for his staff. Wolf subsequently brought Thompson in to audition as a personnel evaluator, and Thompson always has felt he learned a lot from Wolf.

“He taught me passion, he taught me work ethic, he taught me believing in yourself, to have confidence, to write down what you see, not what other people see, and to trust yourself.”

During his first tenure in Green Bay, Thompson was instrumental in providing talent that produced an 83-45 record (.648), six straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and the 1996 world championship. With his help, the team acquired free agents Reggie White, Sean Jones, Don Beebe, Santana Dotson and Desmond Howard.

Through the draft, Green Bay added Darren Sharper, Vonnie Holliday and Donald Driver, one of the franchise’s lowest-drafted Pro Bowlers.

A possessor of strong football credentials and keen knowledge of the game gleaned from his decade-long playing career, Thompson credits Wolf with deepening his understanding of the scouting process and cites his experience in Seattle working with Mike Holmgren as very valuable in terms of his growth as a football person, running an organization and making decisions that affect the team in the present and in the future.

A versatile linebacker during his 10-year NFL playing career with the Oilers (1975-84), Thompson also was one of the most durable players in team annals, missing just one of 147 contests due to injury. He started eight games over the course of his career and also played in seven postseason contests (1978-80), with the Oilers going 4-3 in those games, losing the AFC Championship to the Steelers in both 1978 and ’79. He originally was signed by Phillips as a non-drafted free agent.

Thompson’s Oilers teammates included Pro Football Hall of Famers Earl Campbell, Mike Munchak, Elvin Bethea, Warren Moon and Bruce Matthews (current Packer Clay’s uncle). Thompson also served as a reserve kicker and converted all four PATs he attempted in an emergency situation vs. the New York Jets in a 1981 contest.

Collegiately, Thompson was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and team captain (’74) for SMU. As a sophomore, he played under head coach Hayden Fry, and Phillips, his eventual pro coach, was defensive coordinator. He also served as the team’s placekicker as a senior. Following his football career, in the spring of ’75, he lettered as an outfielder for the Mustangs’ baseball team. Thompson gained Academic All-Southwest Conference honors and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Born Jan. 17, 1953, in Atlanta, Texas, Thompson was an all-region player at the city’s high school, lining up at running back, linebacker and placekicker. He also lettered in basketball, baseball, track and golf. He is single and enjoys an occasional round of golf in times of leisure.

  • Of the 53 players on Green Bay’s Super Bowl XLV championship roster, 49 of them had been acquired by Thompson since 2005.
  • Green Bay’s seven Pro Bowl selections in 2011 were the most the Packers had voted into the game since 1967, with six of those players either drafted or signed by Thompson.
  • Named NFL Executive of the Year in 2008 and 2011 by Sporting News in a vote of his peers.
  • 2013 will be the first season during his Green Bay tenure in which every player on the roster was acquired by Thompson.
  • Since 2005, 16 rookie free agents have made the opening-day roster under Thompson, including 10 over the past three seasons (2010-12), tying the Packers for second most in the NFL over that span.
  • Named to his position on Jan. 14, 2005, his second stint with the organization. Earlier served eight years with Packers (1992-99) – as assistant director of pro personnel (1992), director of pro personnel (1993-96) and director of player personnel (1997-99).
  • Served five seasons (2000-04) as the Seattle Seahawks’ vice president of football operations.
  • Combining the drafts he has run in Seattle and Green Bay, 22 of Thompson’s selections have earned Pro Bowl, All-Pro or All-Rookie honors.
  • Nine starters on Seattle’s Super Bowl XL team, including league MVP RB Shaun Alexander and K Josh Brown, were drafted by the Seahawks during Thompson’s tenure.
  • Enjoyed a 10-year playing career with the Houston Oilers (1975-84), becoming one of the most durable players in Houston annals by playing in 146 of 147 games, missing just one contest due to injury. Originally signed by Bum Phillips as a non-drafted free agent.
  • Was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and team captain (’74) for SMU, gaining Academic All-Southwest Conference honors, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and also lettering in baseball as a senior.


Ted Thompson firmly believes that the best way to build a successful team is by drafting and developing players, with free agency playing a complementary role in addressing specific needs.

Now eight-plus years into his tenure as Executive Vice President, General Manager and Director of Football Operations, Thompson’s philosophy was further validated in 2010 with a win in Super Bowl XLV over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Green Bay’s fourth Super Bowl title and 13th world championship.

A look at the Packers’ roster for Super Bowl XLV indicates a team truly built by Thompson. Nineteen of 22 starters and 49 of 53 players on the roster were acquired by Thompson via the draft, free agency, trades or the waiver wire during his time in Green Bay.

Thompson’s approach was reaffirmed in 2011 and 2012 as Green Bay added to one of its most successful stretches in team history. While the Packers came up short in their quest to win another Super Bowl championship the past two seasons, Green Bay finished with a franchise-best 15 regular-season wins in 2011 while also capturing back-to-back division titles in 2011-12 for the first time since it won three straight from 2002-04. The 2012 season also marked the Packers’ fourth straight playoff appearance and fifth in the last six seasons, making them the only NFC team to accomplish those feats.

Following the 2012 season, four players acquired by Thompson, LB Clay Matthews, QB Aaron Rodgers, C Jeff Saturday and G Josh Sitton, earned Pro Bowl honors. A first-round selection by Thompson in 2009, Matthews became the first Packer to earn Pro Bowl recognition in each of his first four seasons in the NFL. For Rodgers, it marked his second consecutive selection and third overall (also 2009). Thompson’s first draft selection as Green Bay’s GM in 2005, Rodgers also earned Most Valuable Player honors for Super Bowl XLV and captured the prestigious NFL MVP award following the 2011 campaign. A fourth-round pick by Thompson in 2008, Sitton made his first appearance in the postseason all-star game.

The combined achievements authored by the 2010 and ’11 teams assembled by Thompson have a prominent place in Packers’ and NFL history. Covering a span of 364 days, Green Bay won 19 consecutive games (including postseason) over the two seasons. The 19-game winning streak began in Week 16 of 2010 and lasted until Green Bay suffered its lone regular-season defeat at Kansas City in Week 15 of the 2011 season. The streak was the longest in franchise history and was the second-longest winning streak in NFL history (including playoffs) behind only the 2003-04 New England Patriots (21 games). Perhaps most impressively, the Packers never trailed in the fourth quarter during their 19-game winning streak.

The 2011 Packers captured their second NFC North title under Thompson and first since 2007, and as a result, earned the NFC’s No. 1 seed for the first time since 1996. The Packers finished the 2011 campaign with a perfect 8-0 record at Lambeau Field for the first time since 2002.

Seven of Thompson’s players were selected to the Pro Bowl following the 2011 campaign, the most the Packers have had voted to the all-star game since 1967. The selections included WR Greg Jennings, FB John Kuhn, Matthews, NT B.J. Raji, Rodgers, C Scott Wells and CB Charles Woodson. Six of the selections were acquired by Thompson as Jennings, Matthews, Raji and Rodgers were draft picks while Kuhn was claimed off waivers and Woodson was signed as a free agent. It was the fourth straight Pro Bowl selection for Woodson, the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 who was signed by Thompson in ’06.

In 2010, the Packers posted a 10-6 mark and qualified for the postseason for the third time under Thompson. Winners of three straight playoff games on the road, Green Bay became just the second No. 6 seed (2005 Steelers) to win a Super Bowl since the NFL went to a 12-team playoff format in 1990.

The Packers featured eight Pro Bowl selections in 2010, with five of the players being voted to the initial squad. Four of the eight players were draft picks of Thompson’s and two more were signed as free agents.

What made the Packers’ championship season in 2010 even more notable was the adversity the team faced due to injuries. Green Bay finished the year with 15 players on injured reserve, and eight of them had started at least one game on the season. Six starters from the opening-day depth chart sustained season-ending injuries in the first seven games.

Because of those injuries, the roster depth that Thompson had built during his tenure came to the fore. Rookies such as T Bryan Bulaga, a first-round draft pick in 2010, and CB Sam Shields and LB Frank Zombo, both non-drafted free agents in ’10, were called upon to step into prominent roles. A pair of fourth-year players, LB Desmond Bishop and S Charlie Peprah, moved into the starting lineup and became key cogs on defense after contributing primarily on special teams earlier in their careers. RB James Starks, a sixth-round pick in 2010 who was limited to just three games during the regular season because of an injury, led the NFL with 315 rushing yards in the postseason, third most in league annals by a rookie RB in the playoffs.

The Packers’ Super Bowl XLV team was a direct reflection of the philosophy that Thompson has held true to throughout his Green Bay tenure, one that should put the franchise in good position to contend for championships on an annual basis.

Since taking over as GM in 2005, Thompson has focused on rebuilding and improving the bulk of the roster, mostly through the draft.

In his first four drafts from 2005-08, Thompson utilized 14 trades, all but one of them down, to turn 31 picks into 43 selections, plus an extra choice in ’09. In 2009-10, however, his trades went in the other direction as the improved roster core allowed him to focus less on the overall quantity of picks. Those two years, Thompson traded up for specific players he had targeted in certain rounds.

In ’09, after selecting Raji out of Boston College with the No. 9 overall selection in the first round, Thompson traded a second-round pick and two third-round selections – Nos. 41, 73 and 83 overall – to New England to get another crack at a first-round talent. He moved up 15 spots to No. 26 overall and nabbed Matthews out of Southern California, while also receiving a 2009 fifth-round pick in return from the Patriots.

Just like that, not only did Thompson give the Packers two first-round draft choices for the first time in 16 years, he added highly touted prospects at the two linchpin positions in the 3-4 defense – a middle anchor and outside pass rusher.

In addition to Matthews earning a Pro Bowl bid as a rookie, both he and Raji made the prestigious Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team. Their success has continued in the subsequent seasons following their rookie campaigns. Matthews has earned four consecutive Pro Bowl invitations (2009-12) while also finishing as the runner-up to Steelers S Troy Polamalu for 2010 Defensive Player of the Year honors from The Associated Press. In 2010, Raji posted 6½ sacks, the most by an NFL nose tackle since 1990, and following the 2011 season, he earned his first Pro Bowl selection.

Bulaga, the No. 23 overall pick in 2010, went on to start the final 12 regular-season contests at RT as a rookie in place of injured veteran Mark Tauscher, and also opened all four playoff games. Bulaga was named to the All-Rookie team by PFW, joining Raji and Matthews as three straight first-round picks by Thompson to be honored by the publication. Since solidifying his role as a starter in 2011, Bulaga has developed into one of the best young tackles in the league.

Despite coming off a world championship in 2010 and featuring one of the deepest rosters in the league, the Packers received consistent contributions from Thompson’s 2011 draft class in their rookie seasons. Second-round pick WR Randall Cobb made an immediate impact in his pro debut vs. New Orleans with a 108-yard kickoff return for a touchdown that matched the NFL record. He finished the season ranked No. 2 in the NFL (No. 1 among rookies) with a 27.7-yard kickoff return average and No. 7 in the league (No. 2 among rookies) with an 11.3-yard punt return average. For his efforts, Cobb was named to the Pro Football Weekly All-Rookie team as the kick returner. Cobb continued to excel in 2012, setting a franchise record and ranking first in the NFL with 2,342 combined net yards. Additionally, Cobb led the team with 80 receptions and 954 receiving yards last season.

Never afraid to be aggressive on draft day, Thompson was at it again during the 2012 and 2013 NFL drafts. The 2012 draft saw him trade up three times over the course of the weekend. Highlighted by first-round pick LB Nick Perry of USC and second-round pick DE Jerel Worthy of Michigan State, Thompson used the first six of the team’s eight picks overall on defense. While Perry and Worthy look to rebound from injuries that ended their promising rookie campaigns, second-round pick CB Casey Hayward produced one of the finest seasons by a rookie in team history. Hayward’s six interceptions led the team and were tied for fifth in the NFL, en route to him becoming the first Packers cornerback to be named to the Pro Football Weekly/PFWA All-Rookie Team (since 1974). Combining the drafts he has run in Seattle and Green Bay, 22 of Thompson’s selections have earned Pro Bowl, All-Pro or All-Rookie honors.

The Packers entered the 2013 draft with eight picks, but Thompson again relied on trades to finish the weekend with 11 selections. In all, Thompson made four trades, including three down, to produce the 2013 draft class. The first round saw the Packers draft a defender out of the state of California for the second year in a row in UCLA DE Datone Jones. However, by the end of the weekend, Thompson had also injected some youth into the offense by selecting two high-profile running backs in Eddie Lacy of Alabama and Johnathan Franklin, also of UCLA.

In addition to building through the draft, Thompson has developed his roster through the signing of undrafted free agents. Since 2005, 16 rookie free agents have made the opening-day roster under Thompson. More impressively, 10 non-drafted rookies have made the opening-day roster in the past three seasons (2010-12), tying the Packers for second most in the NFL over that span.

 

Thompson followed in the footsteps of his mentor, Ron Wolf, in becoming Green Bay’s GM, and in 2008 he joined Wolf in becoming only the second person in the history of the organization to be recognized as the best in his field in a vote of his peers as the NFL Executive of the Year by Sporting News. He further cemented his reputation in the NFL by winning the award for a second time following the Packers’ record-setting 2011 season.

Preceding his first award, Thompson left an undeniable stamp on the Packers’ successful 2007 season. In just his third campaign as GM, he assembled a roster that was the youngest yet one of the most talented in the NFL, and the Packers went 13-3, won the NFC North Division title, and advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the first time in a decade.

“I’m honored to receive this award on behalf of the Green Bay Packers,” the humble Thompson said in 2008. “We view this as a team honor and feel the coaches, players and staff should all be very proud of the job they’ve done in helping this franchise succeed.”

The prestigious award acknowledged Thompson for his diligence and success as the team came within an overtime field goal of advancing to the Super Bowl. But it also served as recognition for Thompson’s overall body of work since taking his current position in 2005.

One of the biggest additions to the playoff-bound team came from a key trade. Thompson acquired RB Ryan Grant from the New York Giants at the end of training camp for a sixth-round draft choice, adding the former Notre Dame standout to a crowded but banged-up backfield.

Grant eventually took over as the feature back midway through the season and proceeded to rush for nearly 1,000 yards, adding 201 yards and three TDs in the NFC Divisional playoff victory over Seattle, both Green Bay postseason records. He went on to add back-to-back 1,200-yard campaigns in 2008-09.

Surprising many with the hiring of Mike McCarthy as head coach in January 2006, Thompson embarked on turning around a 4-12 team beset by injuries and salary-cap concerns in his first season. The improvement to an 8-8 mark in 2006, followed by the playoff run in 2007, netted McCarthy the Motorola NFL Coach of the Year award and placed both Thompson and his chief hire at the top of their professions.

Thompson’s career as a football executive came full circle on Jan. 14, 2005. That day, former Green Bay Packers CEO Bob Harlan gave him full authority over all aspects of football operations for the storied franchise.

In becoming the 10th general manager in club history, Thompson rejoined the team with which he received his start under Wolf in 1992. After working for the legendary general manager through the 1999 season, Thompson spent five years as vice president of football operations for the Seattle Seahawks.

“It’s almost a dream come true-type job,” Thompson said. “You think about, when you’re a young kid, some of the things you’d like to do when you grow up and you think maybe manager of the New York Yankees or maybe the general manager of the Green Bay Packers. So it’s a thrill, it’s an honor.”

For Harlan, the selection of Thompson to lead Green Bay’s football fortunes was an easy choice, and Thompson has validated that confidence in his selection by successfully remaking the roster into one he and the organization believe is built for long-term success.

“I feel Ted is a perfect fit for the Packers,” Harlan said, introducing Thompson in 2005. “He is a respected National Football League veteran who is a proven talent evaluator and an efficient administrator. He knows the people in our personnel department and he is familiar with how we run our football operation. He embraces the Packers’ championship tradition, and he was very anxious to have the opportunity to return to Green Bay.”

Now in his 32nd NFL season, including 10 years as a player, Thompson knows and respects the position the Packers hold in the hearts of the fans, and around the league.

“The history and tradition of this place is unrivaled in professional sports,” Thompson said. “I understand the passion the people here have for their team. Ron (Wolf) told me this is the best job in the National Football League. I never forgot that.”

The 60-year-old Thompson not only joined an organization with which he was familiar, but also oversees a respected staff that includes Eliot Wolf, director of pro personnel, Brian Gutekunst, director of college scouting, and Alonzo Highsmith, senior personnel executive.

Former Thompson staffers include current Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey, Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, Raiders director-college scouting Shaun Herock and Seattle Seahawks executive vice president/general manager John Schneider.

Almost immediately upon taking over, Thompson made a crucial choice for the long-term benefit of the club. In the 2005 NFL Draft, Rodgers had been projected as high as the No. 1 overall pick, but he wasn’t taken there and ended up sliding all the way down to the Packers at No. 24. One year later, Thompson handed Rodgers to an accomplished quarterback mentor in McCarthy to mold him into the team’s signal caller of the future.

In 2008-09, following the retirement and subsequent trade of Brett Favre, Rodgers became the first quarterback in league history to eclipse 4,000 yards passing in each of his first two seasons as a starter. Rodgers surpassed the 4,000-yard mark again in 2011 and 2012 and has posted 21,332 passing yards the past five seasons. That total ranks first in NFL history for the most passing yards by a QB in his first five seasons as a starter, surpassing the previous mark held by Peyton Manning (20,618, 1998-2002). Rodgers’ career passer rating of 104.9 ranks No. 1 in NFL history, and his 122.5 passer rating in 2011 set a single-season NFL record, topping Manning’s 121.1 mark in 2004. Additionally, Rodgers’ 1.73 career interception percentage is tops in NFL history.

Although Thompson prefers to shift the spotlight in another direction, his fingerprints were also all over the Seahawks’ road to Super Bowl XL during the 2005 season. NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, Thompson’s first draft pick in Seattle, in 2000, captured the 2005 league rushing title and established a then-single-season NFL record with 28 touchdowns. Nine of Seattle’s Super Bowl starters, as well as K Josh Brown, were drafted by Thompson. That list included G Steve Hutchinson, a Pro Bowler in seven of his 12 NFL seasons.

Seattle could’ve gone in another direction in the 2000 draft. With perennial 1,000-yard rusher Ricky Watters on the roster, the club didn’t need a running back in the first round. But with the Seahawks on the clock holding the 19th overall choice, Alexander was the best player available. One year later, in the 2001 draft, Thompson wanted Hutchinson in a similar situation.

“You have to do what you think is best for the organization,” Thompson said before the 2006 draft, when he chose LB A.J. Hawk with the fifth overall selection. “A draft is an investment in a player that’s going to be here for a number of years.”

Thompson’s philosophy on building a successful team relies heavily on drafted players as a foundation. In today’s NFL, teams can’t win consistently with free agency as their primary tool. And in building through the draft, the Packers place a premium on character.

But despite how much value he places on the draft, Thompson also will use the free-agent market as another tool to build the roster. In Green Bay, he has brought in players like Woodson and DT Ryan Pickett, among others, to either take over starting jobs or provide valuable, experienced depth at their positions.

“I think free agency is a very interesting tool to use to help you patch some holes and do some things,” said Thompson, who signed five unrestricted free agents in 2006, the Packers’ most since 1998. “There’s no reluctance on our part. We do try to make certain that what we do is not just fantasy football. We’re investing in a player that’s got to come in and play a particular role. If we don’t think that player can perform to that contract, then it doesn’t make sense for us to do it just to say, ‘Look what we’ve spent.’”

 

In Green Bay annals, Thompson is only the fourth general manager to serve exclusively from the front office, joining Verne Lewellen (1954-58), Vince Lombardi (1968) and Wolf (1992-2000).

The low-profile Thompson has a proven track record as an evaluator. Overseeing Seattle’s draft board from 2000 through ’04, Thompson provided the Seahawks a solid foundation which they used to make three straight playoff appearances (2003-05). His 2003 draft saw Thompson land three players – Brown, CB Marcus Trufant and S Ken Hamlin – who not only made immediate front-line contributions as rookies, but who also became cornerstone players for years to come.

Just one year later, those three were instrumental in Seattle’s 2004 NFC West championship. In the Seahawks’ playoff game that year, 11 of 22 starters were acquired through Thompson’s drafts. In his first two Green Bay drafts, Thompson selected S Nick Collins in 2005 and Hawk, Jennings and G Daryn Colledge in 2006. All four were named to the PFW All-Rookie Team. In ’07, he drafted K Mason Crosby, whose 762 career points from 2007-12 are the most in NFL history by a player in his first six seasons.

Prior to 2009, Thompson selected 43 players in his first four drafts as GM, signaling the rebuilding of the roster core that had seen only 27 draft picks in the four years (2001-04) before Thompson returned to Green Bay.

As a result, offseason competition for positions on Green Bay’s 53-man roster has been fierce since Thompson took over, and should only become more intense in training camp in 2013. The goal is to improve the team’s play through competition, just as it was when Bum Phillips annually brought in younger talent to try to take Thompson’s job during the former linebacker’s 10-year playing career with the Houston Oilers.

A former Oilers teammate, Mike Reinfeldt, helped to launch Thompson’s second football career. In 1992, Reinfeldt, then the Packers’ vice president of administration, recommended that Wolf take a look at Thompson as a potential pro scout for his staff. Wolf subsequently brought Thompson in to audition as a personnel evaluator, and Thompson always has felt he learned a lot from Wolf.

“He taught me passion, he taught me work ethic, he taught me believing in yourself, to have confidence, to write down what you see, not what other people see, and to trust yourself.”

During his first tenure in Green Bay, Thompson was instrumental in providing talent that produced an 83-45 record (.648), six straight playoff berths, two Super Bowl appearances and the 1996 world championship. With his help, the team acquired free agents Reggie White, Sean Jones, Don Beebe, Santana Dotson and Desmond Howard.

Through the draft, Green Bay added Darren Sharper, Vonnie Holliday and Donald Driver, one of the franchise’s lowest-drafted Pro Bowlers.

A possessor of strong football credentials and keen knowledge of the game gleaned from his decade-long playing career, Thompson credits Wolf with deepening his understanding of the scouting process and cites his experience in Seattle working with Mike Holmgren as very valuable in terms of his growth as a football person, running an organization and making decisions that affect the team in the present and in the future.

A versatile linebacker during his 10-year NFL playing career with the Oilers (1975-84), Thompson also was one of the most durable players in team annals, missing just one of 147 contests due to injury. He started eight games over the course of his career and also played in seven postseason contests (1978-80), with the Oilers going 4-3 in those games, losing the AFC Championship to the Steelers in both 1978 and ’79. He originally was signed by Phillips as a non-drafted free agent.

Thompson’s Oilers teammates included Pro Football Hall of Famers Earl Campbell, Mike Munchak, Elvin Bethea, Warren Moon and Bruce Matthews (current Packer Clay’s uncle). Thompson also served as a reserve kicker and converted all four PATs he attempted in an emergency situation vs. the New York Jets in a 1981 contest.

Collegiately, Thompson was a three-year starter (1972-74) at linebacker and team captain (’74) for SMU. As a sophomore, he played under head coach Hayden Fry, and Phillips, his eventual pro coach, was defensive coordinator. He also served as the team’s placekicker as a senior. Following his football career, in the spring of ’75, he lettered as an outfielder for the Mustangs’ baseball team. Thompson gained Academic All-Southwest Conference honors and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Born Jan. 17, 1953, in Atlanta, Texas, Thompson was an all-region player at the city’s high school, lining up at running back, linebacker and placekicker. He also lettered in basketball, baseball, track and golf. He is single and enjoys an occasional round of golf in times of leisure.