John “Red” Cochran
Assistant Coach: 1959-66, 1971-74
Cochran worked for the Packers for 42 years as an assistant coach and scout, one of the longest tenures of anyone in football operations over the storied life of the franchise. What’s more, Cochran served two of the most powerful and influential figures in Packers history. He was a member of Vince Lombardi’s original coaching staff in Green Bay and later spent more than a decade scouting for Ron Wolf, the Packers’ general manager. In Cochran’s first six seasons as backfield coach under Lombardi, the Packers finished first in the NFL in rushing three times and never worse than third.
“He was a real special guy,” said Mike Sherman, coach and general manager of the Packers at the time of Cochran’s death. “I always called him, ‘Coach Cochran.’ I never called him ‘Red.’ The fact he was still doing it at 82 was tremendous. He was sharp as a tack and built like a bull.”
Cochran was named to the Packers’ scouting staff in 1975 by first-year coach and general manager Bart Starr and worked full-time until 1987. He then spent 17 years working as a part-time scout until his death. From 1971 to 1974, Cochran was Dan Devine’s offensive backfield coach, the same position he held on Lombardi’s staff from 1959 to 1966. He also spent six years as an assistant coach with Detroit, the St. Louis Cardinals and San Diego. He played for the NFL’s Chicago Cardinals from 1947 to 1949.
Born Aug. 2, 1922, in Fairfield, Ala. Given name John Thurman Cochran Jr. Died Sept. 4, 2004, at the age of 82.
- By Cliff Christl