Green Bay Packers Mourn Death of Burt Gustafson, Longtime Assistant Coach

Burt Gustafson, a longtime assistant coach and scout for the Green Bay Packers, died on Saturday, the team announced. He was 96 years old. The cause of death was not officially announced, but the Packers said that Gustafson died in Crystal Springs, Michigan. 

During his time with the Packers, Gustafson worked for four different head coaches — Dan Devine, Bart Starr, Forrest Gregg and Lindy Infante. He was hired by the team in 1971 and was the linebackers coach for Devine. When Starr took over four years later, Gustafson was a college scout, special teams coach, pro scout and director of pro scouting. Gustafson then was reassigned to administrative assistant in football operations when Gregg was the head coach in 1985. He held that position through 1988, which was when Infante took over as the head coach. 

In a 2018 interview, Gustafson talked about his introduction to the Packers, which was when he was a college coach in the 1960s. "I was given an opportunity by Mr. Lombardi to be at training camp three years in a row," Gustafson said. "So I got to know Mr. Football himself. Hawg Hanner (defensive tackle and later assistant coach under Lombardi) invited me. I was coaching at Wyoming and got to stay in the dormitory, the whole bit. (Lombardi) let me come to the meetings. I'd go to a meeting at 7 o'clock and he had all the clocks set five minutes early. If the rookies came in late, they'd get fined."

Before joining the Packers, Gustafson was an assistant coach at the University of Wyoming from 1962 to 1970. And before that position, Gustafson was an assistant coach at Northern Michigan University from 1956 to 1961. Gustafson also played football baseball, and track at Northern Michigan. 

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When speaking about the four Packers head coaches he worked for, Gustafson said Infante was the one he respected the most. "From a football standpoint, he was the best of the four I worked for," Gustafson said in the same 2018 interview. "No doubt in my mind. He was tough but fair. He was a smart guy. He left the defense up to the defensive coaches. He didn't mess with it. He was strictly offense. It was his offense and that was it." Funeral arrangements for Gustafson are pending at the time of this writing.