The Green Bay Packers' relationship with the Wisconsin Football Coaches Association has grown considerably stronger over the past couple of decades, and the WFCA is honoring three key individuals who helped develop that bond.
On Saturday, March 31, former Packers President/CEO Bob Harlan, former general manager Ron Wolf, and current college scouting coordinator Danny Mock will be inducted into the WFCA Hall of Fame.
All three expressed how honored they feel to be joining a select group that includes hundreds of the top high school and college coaches in the history of the state.
Harlan and Wolf are the first two purely front-office executives from the Packers to be inducted. Harlan said the gesture and compliment are much appreciated.
"They told us, 'This is based on what you did for football in the state of Wisconsin. You and Ron brought the Packers back, and we want to acknowledge that,'" Harlan said. "I'm very honored."
Added Wolf: "It certainly came as a surprise and it's a terrific honor, considering what that means to people who have been in the game. I'm delighted they considered me."
Harlan did his part to honor the WFCA in the 2003 renovation of Lambeau Field. In addition to moving the Packers Hall of Fame to the stadium's Atrium, Harlan also moved the WFCA's Hall of Fame exhibit there. The collection of inductee plaques and other awards is located in the northwest corner of the Atrium.
"I thought we could really honor sports in Wisconsin, and particularly football, if we could get the (prep) coaches in there and honor the high school teams that have excelled," Harlan said.
"I think it's been a very valuable addition. It's honoring grassroots football in Wisconsin, and if you look at the list of past inductees, it's really a who's who of those who made football a major sport in this state. It's an elite group."
Mock is a member of the WFCA and has served as the Packers' liaison to the organization for a number of years. He helped support the move of the WFCA's Hall as well as the association's all-state banquet to Lambeau Field, and he has helped facilitate the Packers' involvement in the annual WFCA coaches' clinic.
"The clinic is, if not the biggest, one of the largest in the country," Mock said. "Over 3,000 coaches from all over have come.
"The Association is really the backbone of football in this state, and what they do is important to maintain and improve football at all levels."
Mock was previously recognized by the WFCA in 2008 as its Dave McClain Distinguished Service Award winner. Prior to the induction banquet on March 31, Mock will moderate a Q&A session with Harlan and Wolf for the coaches attending this year's clinic.
"These guys are very, very knowledgeable," Wolf said. "I've been away now 12 years and I'm not going to be able to comment on the present team, but hopefully we'll discuss what happened back when I was there."
Harlan, Wolf and Mock join a host of other WFCA Hall of Fame members with ties to the Packers. The list includes former coaches Curly Lambeau, Vince Lombardi and Lisle Blackbourn, former players Ted Fritsch and Fuzzy Thurston, and former equipment manager Gerald "Dad" Braisher. In addition, previous winners of the McClain award include former quarterback Bart Starr and his wife Cherry, former head coach Mike Sherman and former executive John Jones.