The Green Bay Packers have named John Bonamego special teams coordinator, GM/Head Coach Mike Sherman announced Monday.
Bonamego, the 15th special teams coach in Packers history, replaces Frank Novak, who announced his retirement January 10.
"John has demonstrated the qualities you look for in a special teams coach: knowledge, passion and the ability to teach," Sherman said in making the announcement. "He's a great fit for our staff and team."
In 2002, in his first season as Jacksonville special teams coordinator, Bonamego (pronounced "bohn-ah-MAY-go") spearheaded arguably the AFC's best all-around group.
He helped mold punter Chris Hanson, a relatively unknown free agent, into a Pro Bowl selection. Hanson led the AFC in both gross average (44.2, second in NFL) and net average (37.6, fourth in NFL).
Jacksonville's kickoff coverage squad also led the AFC, and finished second in the league behind Carolina, allowing just 19.5 yards per return.
The Jags' punt-return team finished fifth in the AFC, averaging 11.1 yards per return. One of Bonamego's most memorable moments was Bobby Shaw's 69-yard touchdown return, which gave Jacksonville a 28-10 fourth-quarter lead over the Eagles in an eventual 28-25 win, October 6. The return garnered Shaw AFC 'Special Teams Player of the Week' honors.
Additionally, Bonamego's 2002 units blocked four kicks, recorded one touchdown (Shaw's return) and one safety. Jacksonville also was the only NFL team in 2002 not to allow both a return touchdown and a blocked kick.
Bonamego, 39, first joined the Jaguars in 1999, and worked for three seasons as assistant special teams coordinator under Larry Pasquale (1999) and Frank Gansz (2000-01) - considered two of the league's best-ever special teams minds - until his promotion last year following the retirement of Gansz.
A native of Waynesboro, Pa., Bonamego joined Jacksonville after six seasons at Army, where he assisted in coaching the outside linebackers (1993) and headed up special teams and recruiting (1994-98). Bonamego also had tutored running backs and assisted in special teams at Lehigh (1992).
Bonamego broke into college coaching in 1988 at Maine, where he spent four years, two as a graduate assistant (1988-89) and two as wide receivers/special teams coach (1990-91). He also spent one season coaching at Mt. Pleasant (Mich.) High School and one year as a player-coach in Europe, with the Verona (Italy) Redskins.
A former wide receiver and quarterback at Central Michigan, he earned a degree in health fitness from the school in 1987, then received his master's degree in physical education from Maine in 1992. Earlier, at Paw Paw (Mich.) High School, Bonamego captained his football, wrestling and track teams.
Bonamego and his wife, Paulette, have two children: Javier, 6, and Giovanni, 1.
1988-89 - Maine, Graduate Assistant
1990-91 - Maine, Wide Receivers/Special Teams
1992 - Lehigh, Running Backs/Asst. Special Teams
1993 - Army, Asst. Outside Linebackers
1994-98 - Army, Special Teams/Recruiting Coordinator
1999-2001 - Jacksonville Jaguars, Asst. Special Teams
2002 - Jacksonville Jaguars, Special Teams
2003 - Green Bay Packers, Special Teams