Packers deaths: Pat Peppler, Steve Pritko, Kevin Hunt
Albert "Pat" Peppler, who scouted and drafted some of the Green Bay Packers' best players of the 1960s and early 1970s, died Tuesday in Stuart, Fla. He was 93.
Peppler, who grew up in Shorewood, was hired by coach and general manager Vince Lombardi as the Packers' director of player personnel in 1963. A three-sport athlete at Michigan State in the early 1950s, he spent nine seasons as an assistant football coach at North Carolina State and Wake Forest before joining the Packers.
Among the players Peppler drafted: Ken Bowman, Donny Anderson, Jim Grabowski, Gale Gillingham, Travis Williams, Fred Carr, Rich McGeorge, Jim Carter, Ken Ellis, John Brockington, Scott Hunter, Willie Buchanon and Chester Marcol.
Lombardi recommended that Peppler be his successor as GM when he left Green Bay in 1968, but the Packers gave that job to new coach Phil Bengtson, according to Packers historian Cliff Christl. Peppler stayed with the Packers through the 1972 draft, then left to become the Miami Dolphins' pro scouting director.
Peppler was hired as the Atlanta Falcons' GM in 1975, then became the Falcons' interim coach after Marion Campbell was fired five games into the 1976 season. The Falcons went 3-6 under Peppler. He later worked for the Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints, ending his NFL career in 1985.
Steve Pritko, who had been the Packers' second-oldest living player, died June 6 in the Los Angeles area. He was 94.
Pritko finished an eight-year NFL career with the Packers in 1949 and 1950. A 6-foot-2, 210-pound end, he caught 23 passes for 219 yards and four touchdowns in 20 games.
He caught two touchdown passes from Jug Girard in a 41-21 loss to the Chicago Cardinals in Chicago on Nov. 27, 1949. Pritko and halfback Tony Canadeo were the only players to score more than one touchdown for the Packers that season.
In his last NFL game, Pritko caught a 3-yard TD pass from Tobin Rote in a 30-14 loss to the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco on Dec. 10, 1950.
The Packers' oldest living player is 95-year-old Ben Agajanian, who was a kicker in three games in 1961.
Kevin Hunt, an offensive tackle who played in three games for the Packers in 1972, died May 22 in Londonderry, N.H. He was 66.
The 6-5, 260-pound Hunt was a small-college all-America player at Doane College in Nebraska. He was chosen by the Packers in the 10th round of the 1971 draft and spent that season on injured reserve with a knee injury.
After leaving Green Bay, he played six more seasons in the NFL, five of them with the Houston Oilers. He retired after one season with the New Orleans Saints in 1978.
2015 Packers deaths
Pat Peppler, 93, June 23 (personnel director, 1963-71)
Steve Pritko, 94, June 6 (end, 1949-50)
Kevin Hunt, 66, May 22 (offensive tackle, 1972)
Lee Remmel, 90, April 16 (public relations director and team historian, 1974-2007)
Johnny Papit, 86, April 6 (halfback, 1953)
Terdell Middleton, 59, April 3 (running back, 1977-81)
Tom Bettis, 81, Feb. 28 (linebacker, 1955-61)
John Polonchek, 87, Jan. 26 (receivers/passing game coach, 1972-74)