North Park University Congratulates Mike Holmgren on Packers Hall of Fame Honor
Mike Holmgren was inducted July 21 into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame at a ceremony at Lambeau Field. (Photo courtesy of the Green Bay Packers)
Former head coach and family well-known to North Park University community
CHICAGO (July 25, 2012) — The Green Bay Packers inducted former head coach Mike Holmgren into the Packers Hall of Fame July 21. Holmgren, now the president of the Cleveland Browns, and his family, are known to the North Park University community as leaders and longtime supporters of the University.
Holmgren was the only inductee to the Packers Hall of Fame this year. He turned more than two decades of losing into one of the best winning percentages in National Football League (NFL) coaching history with seven consecutive winning seasons and six consecutive playoff seasons, according to Packers.com. Holmgren coached the 1996 team, which posted a 13-3 record in the regular season, and defeated the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, 35-21.
Holmgren thanked many people, including Ron Wolf, the Packers' general manager who hired him as head coach. "He took a chance on a young coach who was five years removed from coaching in high school," Holmgren said. He began his career as Packers coach with consecutive losses, the second of which was by a 31-3 score in Tampa. The following week, Holmgren inserted Brett Favre at quarterback. Favre rallied the Packers to a 24-23 win with "two of the most beautiful passes I’ve ever seen, and we win the game," Holmgren said.
Mike McCarthy, the Packers’ most recent head coach to have won a Super Bowl title, was in attendance to applaud Holmgren’s induction. Holmgren left the Packers following the 1998 season to become head coach and general manager of the Seattle Seahawks.
Holmgren and his wife, Kathy, are longtime members of the North Park University President's Club, and have been important partners in several University building projects, including the Brandel Library, the Helwig Recreation Center, and the Johnson Center for Science and Community Life (the University has begun initial preparation of the building site). The University's athletic complex, named for the Holmgrens, is home to North Park University football, baseball, softball, and soccer teams. The University also presented him an honorary doctorate in 1997.
Kathy Holmgren earned an undergraduate nursing degree at the University, was recognized as a Distinguished Alumna in 2006, and served on the University's board of trustees. The Holmgrens' four daughters, Calla, Emily, Gretchen, and Jenny, earned degrees at the University. Calla Holmgren, Salt Lake City, is in her second year as a University trustee.
"North Park remains profoundly grateful to Mike and Kathy Holmgren for their exemplary lives of significant service and support to the University, and all of its students and programs," said Mary Surridge, University vice president for development and alumni affairs. "We join so many others in offering deep congratulations to Mike on this significant honor of induction to the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame, on his leadership in the restoration of the Packers legacy, and his relentless pursuit of excellence in his profession."
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