"We are very excited to welcome Matt as the next head coach of the Green Bay Packers", team president Mark Murphy said in a statement.
It's a list to which he hopes to add his name at some point, an opportunity he simply called "surreal".
"Matt is smart, organized and has a great vision for the path forward for our team", said Packers General Manager Brian Gutekunst in a news release. He's the second-youngest head coach in the 101-year history of the franchise, with only Curly Lambeau leading the team at a younger age. "I see him having the ability and experience to really make a difference". They wanted a coach who would hold players accountable. LaFleur said he has already had a chance to speak with Aaron Rodgers.
The 39-year-old served as quarterbacks coach of the Atlanta Falcons in 2015 and 2016, helping offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan build one of the league's most explosive offenses at the time. But he believes the hardships he faced transformed him into a better coach. "A lot better situation than the Packers were in, so in that sense, you got to be optimistic that he's going to be able to get it done for them", said Schmid. We needed a good offensive one.
LaFleur and his family flew aboard a private jet to Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport shortly after 8 p.m. Tuesday and headed straight to Lambeau Field.
"To follow in the footsteps of Vince Lombardi, Mike Holmgren, Mike McCarthy, it's truly an honor", LaFleur said. "I think he's equally excited". "I have had the opportunity to be here a few other times".
And that's how LaFleur will approach things as Rodgers' new head coach.
LaFleur, who is from Mount Pleasant, Michigan, made his start in the National Football League coaching ranks in 2008 with the Houston Texans, connecting with Kyle Shanahan, now the San Francisco 49ers head coach.
"After two long years, we are ready to get back to winning", Murphy said introducing LaFleur.
LaFleur's first day on the job in Green Bay was an emotional one. "It would have been easy to stay in LA".
"I took the risk because I knew that I needed to get out of my comfort zone and grow as a coach". "I think I probably learned as much from him as he learned from me". To LaFleur, that means trying to "stay one step ahead of the game because if you stay stagnant and you don't evolve, I think people catch up to you".
LaFleur's first major order of business will be to put together his coaching staff.
From there it'll be on to diving deeper into the roster than he already has, and setting the plan for 2019, which he already said he'll enter with high expectations, which are shared by those who brought him here. Rodgers had the authority to change plays and often did so, to the frustration of McCarthy, who struggled at times to get into a rhythm.