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Longtime Packers Coach, Scout Has Passed Away At 96

Green Bay Packers helmet.

Packers fans know the names Lambeau, Lombardi and Starr.

Burt Gustafson, probably not so much.

But Gustafson spent nearly two decades working for the team and turning it into the proud franchise it has become. Gustafson, who spent 18 years as either a coach or scout for the Packers, died Saturday, according to the Packers' official site. He was 96.

Gustafson got his introduction to the Packers when he was an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming during the 1960s. Three years in a row, he came to the team's training camp to observe the coaches.

As a result, Gustafson got to know head coach Dan Devine, who hired him to be the Packers' linebackers coach in 1971. He spent four seasons in that role, then two years as a college scout. He coached special teams in 1977 before becoming a pro scout in 1978 and then the franchise's director of pro scouting the following year. He held that role until 1985, then spent his final three seasons with the franchise as an administrative assistant.

According to Packers team historian Cliff Christi, Gustafson tried to talk the team out of drafting offensive tackle Tony Mandarich with the No. 2 overall pick in 1989. Mandarich struggled during four seasons with the Packers before being released.

Rest In Peace, Burt Gustafson.