Q&A: Bob Harlan on His Proudest Accomplishments
Former Green Bay Packers president and Packers Hall of Famer Bob Harlan has been kind enough to tell us about some of the defining moments of his career. We’ll present the Q&A here on our blog. Be sure to check back for more Q&A.
Q: With so many accomplishments, both on and off the field in your tenure as president, what are you most proud of and why?
A: I am particularly proud of two things. First, we put the Packers back among the elite teams in the National Football League. I joined the Packers in 1971, and the 70s and 80s weren’t very kind to us. We had just four winning seasons and two playoff appearances in 20 years and our fans felt the Packers would never perform at a high level again.
We resurrected the franchise once Ron Wolf took over as general manager. He hired Mike Holmgren, made a trade for Brett Favre and signed Reggie White as a free agent. Suddenly, character and dignity were restored to the franchise. In the last 20 years, with Ron and Ted Thompson leading the way, the Packers have had 16 winning seasons, 14 playoff appearances and been to three Super Bowls, winning two of them. I have always felt that the most important hire the Packers president makes is the general manager and I am very proud to have brought both Ron and Ted to the Packers.
Off the field, I think the redevelopment of Lambeau Field in 2003 gives me the most satisfaction. It was a difficult eight-month referendum, but the new Lambeau gave the Packers financial security for the future, it kept Gree Bay as a viable part of the NFL and it helps us keep a competitive team on the field. The Packers vice president, Larry Weyers, told me that if we did not have Lambeau Field today, we would be either 31st or 32nd in the league in revenue with a very bleak future. We did our project for $295 million. That very same project today would cost about $850 million. We are very thankful we moved on the project when we did.