Packers finalize strength & conditioning staff

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The Green Bay Packers have promoted Chris Gizzi to strength & conditioning coordinator and retained Mark Lovat, Thadeus Jackson and Grant Thorne as strength & conditioning assistants. Head Coach Matt LaFleur made the announcement Monday.

Gizzi has spent the past five seasons as a strength and conditioning assistant for the Packers. He joined Green Bay after spending the 2013 season at the University of North Carolina as the Tar Heels’ assistant football strength and conditioning coach. Gizzi served as a strength and conditioning intern with the Packers during the offseason and training camp in 2013. From 2010-13, he owned and operated Atlas Performance, a training facility in downtown Chicago. Gizzi played linebacker for the Packers for two seasons, appearing in 23 games for the club in 2000-01. He entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with Denver in 1998 and spent the 1998 and 1999 seasons on the Broncos’ reserve/military list while honoring his military commitment. Gizzi lettered three times at Air Force (1994, 1996-97) and was named the Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year in both ’96 and ’97.

Lovat (luh-VOTT) enters his 21st season with the Packers, originally joining the team full-time in 1999 as a strength & conditioning assistant. He worked under three Green Bay strength & conditioning coordinators – Barry Rubin (1999-2005), Rock Gullickson (2006-08) and Dave Redding (2009) before being promoted to strength & conditioning coordinator in 2010. That same year, Lovat was honored by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society with the Super Bowl Achievement Award. He was named the NFL Strength Coach of the Year for his work in 2011 by the Professional Football Strength and Conditioning Coaches Society, an award based on a vote of his peers in the field. The former Butler University baseball player and son of former Green Bay offensive line coach Tom Lovat (1980, 1992-98) is a member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Jackson is entering his 10th season with Green Bay after originally joining the Packers in advance of the team’s offseason training program in 2010. Prior to coming to Green Bay, he spent 2009 as the head strength and conditioning coach at Hinds Com­munity College (Raymond, Miss.), the same school where he started his career as a student athletic trainer (2000-01). Following the completion of his associate’s degree at Hinds, Jackson moved on to the University of Alabama, where he served as a student athletic trainer from 2002-05. In 2005, he was hired as a strength and conditioning as­sistant for the Tide, spending the majority of his time with the football program. While still working at Alabama, Jackson got his first NFL experience, serving as an athletic training intern for the New England Patriots during the team’s 2003 training camp. Jackson left Alabama in 2007 to serve as a manager and training coordinator at Young Champions Academy in Waco, Texas.

Thorne enters his seventh year with the Packers and fifth as a strength and conditioning assistant. He spent 2013-14 as a strength and conditioning consultant with Green Bay. Prior to coming to the Packers, Thorne spent four years (2011-14) at Purdue University as a sports performance coach. In 2011, he served as an assistant performance coach for the football team at Stanford University and in 2010 he was a performance and monitoring assistant for the New York Jets. In 2009, Thorne worked as a performance coach at Velocity Sports Performance in Manhattan Beach, Calif. After a two-year collegiate football career at Nicholls State University (2006-07), he played wide receiver in the Arena Football League for the Los Angeles Avengers in 2008 before joining the Rugby Union’s Sedgley Park Tigers as a winger later that year. While playing for Sedgley Park in the United Kingdom, Thorne served as an assistant performance coach for Everton Football Club of the English Premier League. While earning a B.S. in science from Nicholls State (2006-08), Thorne got his first coaching experience with the San Diego Chargers as a strength and conditioning summer intern in 2006.

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