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Ron Wolf  

First, he watched his former team return to the top of the NFL mountain with a victory in Super Bowl XLV last month.

Then he got the call from the Touchdown Club of New Orleans that he was being honored as the 22nd recipient of the annual Pete Rozelle Award, given each year to the person who has made outstanding contributions to professional football and the National Football League.

Wolf will be honored at a March 12 banquet at the Windsor Court Hotel, along with former Florida Gators coach Urban Meyer, longtime area high school coach Eddie Flint, Times-Picayune sports columnist Jeff Duncan and New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and his wife Brittany.

Wolf, who spent 39 years as a personnel man for the Packers, Oakland Raiders and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, said via telephone that he was speechless when he heard the news.

"It's just an unbelievable honor. I can't tell you how delighted I am," said Wolf, who retired in 2001 but still has his fingerprints on the Packers organization.

Current packers general manager Ted Thompson learned at the feet of Wolf. And Wolf's son Eliot works in the personnel department for the Packers, who remain committed to Wolf's belief in building through the draft.

"It was a very special year for me to witness everything they were able to accomplish, especially with all the injuries they went through, to be able to stay together as a team," said Wolf, who still lives in Green Bay during the summer and attended the Packers' Super Bowl victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in Dallas.

Wolf joined the Packers in 1991, when he helped build the previous Super Bowl championship team by hiring coach Mike Holmgren, trading for quarterback Brett Favre and signing free agent defensive end Reggie White, among other moves.

Before that, he helped build championship teams for Oakland Raiders, where he worked from 1963-1975 and again from 1978-1990. In between, he worked briefly with the expansion Buccaneers.

Wolf joins a prestigious list of past Pete Rozelle Award winners, including Rozelle himself, the former NFL commissioner who won the inaugural award in 1989. Other winners include Saints Owner Tom Benson and former Saints General Manager Jim Finks, coaches like Vince Lombardi, Bill Walsh and Don Shula, owners and executives like Dan Rooney and Wellington Mara, and other contributors to the game.

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