GREEN BAY – The man who’ll forever be remembered for his prophetic, prescient line to Clay Matthews at an ultra-critical moment in Super Bowl XLV – “It … is … time,” Kevin Greene told his prized pupil, right before Matthews forced a momentum-shifting fumble – has decided it’s time for him to step away from coaching.
Greene, the Packers’ outside linebackers coach for the past five seasons, is stepping away from the job to spend more time with his family, coach Mike McCarthy announced Friday.
“I am stepping away from the NFL at this time in order to spend more time with my wife, Tara, and our children, Gavin and Gabrielle,” Greene said in a statement released by the club. “I will miss coaching and will try to return after our kids move on to college if a team will have me.
“My experience here with the Green Bay Packers has been nothing but positive. I am eternally grateful for the opportunity that Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson have blessed me with. I have a peace about the productivity that I helped bring forward in all of the fine young men that have been entrusted to me these past five years. I am most proud of all their accomplishments and the fine young men they've become in this league.”
Greene worked as a coaching intern for multiple years before finally diving into coaching in 2009, when the Packers hired Dom Capers, his former defensive coordinator in Pittsburgh and head coach in Carolina. In his five seasons with the team, the Packers registered 204 sacks, ranking them fourth in the NFL over that span, with the outside linebackers accounting for 91.5 of those sacks.
Under Greene’s direction, Matthews earned four straight Pro Bowl selections in his first four NFL seasons. Greene has coached two first-round picks (Matthews and 2012 first-rounder Nick Perry) but has been particularly successful with undrafted players, helping develop Frank Zombo, Vic So’oto, Dezman Moses and Andy Mulumba into contributors.
“Kevin approached me recently to express his desire to step away from coaching so that he could spend more time with his family,” said McCarthy. “On behalf of the entire organization, I want to thank him for all of his contributions and hard work over the past five seasons with the Packers.
“Kevin provided an incredible amount of energy, passion and knowledge each and every day he was with us. The dedication he showed to maximizing the potential of his players was clearly evident to anyone that worked with him, and he will be missed. I want to wish Kevin, Tara, Gavin and Gabrielle nothing but the best in the years ahead.”
For the third straight year, Greene is a finalist for induction into the Pro FootbalL Hall of Fame. He and 16 other candidates will be discussed and voted on during Super Bowl XLVIII week.
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