LeRoy Butler will not be the only person associated with the Green Bay Packers honored by the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year. Former defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur is one of 20 recipients of the inaugural Awards of Excellence. According to the Hall of Fame’s website:
“These 20 outstanding Assistant Coaches, Athletic Trainers, Equipment Managers and Public Relations personnel not only helped to determine results on the field, but they also helped to promote the game’s growth, safety and popularity over several decades of devotion to their teams and to the National Football League.” -Jim Porter, Hall of Fame President
The ceremony to honor the 20 recipients was held earlier this summer. Shurmur’s family attended the ceremony in his stead. Shurmur passed away in 1999 from liver cancer. Even though it is not an induction into the Hall of Fame, his family said they were glad he is remembered. “Dad’s name is up there so that’s really cool. Wasn’t a bust and gold jacket but it meant just as much to us,” Shurmur’s daughter Susie Plump said to Fox 11’s Cody Krupp.
LeRoy Butler responded to Fox 11’s report on Twitter with immense praise for his former defensive coordinator:
Thanks 🙏🏽 to @ProFootballHOF , fritz was a amazing coach and his wife and family should be so proud, without Him calling those great defensive calls,I’m not in the HOF! I owe alot to fritz! I truly loved playing for him!
— leroy butler (@leap36) July 22, 2022
Fritz Shurmur’s Coaching Career Deserves Honor in Canton
Frtiz Shurmur’s NFL coaching career began in 1975 when the Detroit Lions hired him to be their defensive line coach. In 1977, the Lions promoted him to defensive coordinator. The New England Patriots hired him in 1978 to be their defensive line coach, a position he held for two seasons. In 1980, the Patriots promoted him to defensive coordinator. This began a run of nearly 20 years as a NFL defensive coordinator for Shurmur.
Fritz Shurmur served as the Patriots’ defensive coordinator until 1981. In 1982, he was hired by the Los Angeles Rams for the same role, a job he held until 1990. From 1991-1993, Shurmur served as the defensive coordinator of the Arizona Cardinals.
Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren, who is a semi-finalist for induction into the Hall of Fame next year, was able to lure Shurmur to Green Bay in 1994. As the Packers’ defensive coordinator, Shurmur led one of the best defensive units of the modern era. In 1997, the Packers’ defense allowed just 10 passing touchdowns all season. Shurmur was also the only defensive coordinator ever to hold Hall of Famer Barry Sanders to negative net yards in a game. Of course, the Packers’ number 1 defense in 1996 helped lead the team to Super Bowl glory.
Fritz Shurmur had planned to follow Holmgren to Seattle, but died of liver cancer before the season started.
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