In Super Bowl XLV, the Green Bay Packers were down by four, and defensive leader Charles Woodson was out of the game. The Packers needed a big defensive play. The Packers’ outside linebacker coach Kevin Greene told a young Clay Matthew a prophetic “It is time.” A few plays later, Matthews forced a momentum-stealing fumble. The Packers came out on top and became Super Bowl Champions once again.
Kevin Greene, Pro Football Hall of Famer and assistant coach for the Packers from 2009-2013, died on December 21, 2020, at the age of 58. Greene, a larger-than-life man with a celebrated career as both a player and coach, will always have a spot in the collective hearts of Packers fans for his legendary Super Bowl speech and his development of Clay Matthews III.
Matthews took to Twitter with a heartfelt tribute to his former position coach.
Like Matthews, Greene had long blonde hair, a big personality, and a tenacity in chasing down quarterbacks. Greene was an ideal mentor for Matthews. A ‘sackmaster’ himself, Greene sits at three on the NFL’s all-time sack leaders (160 sacks between 1985-1999). Some of those sacks were on his fellow Hall of Fame 2016 classmate Brett Favre.
Packers CEO/President Mark Murphy expressed his condolences on Wednesday. “The Packers were saddened today to learn of Kevin Greene’s passing. He was a great coach for us and was instrumental in our team’s Super Bowl championship season. He had so much energy and passion. Our players loved playing for him. We extend our sincerest condolences to Kevin’s wife, Tara, and their entire family.”
Greene had a legendary career that enriched every program he touched. The Packers were fortuitous to have Greene as part of one of their best success stories. “It is time” will forever give chills to millions of Packers fans. Rest in peace.Matt Hendershott is a Packers fan and Miller High Life enthusiast from Northwest Ohio. He has a Master of Arts in Media and Communication from Bowling Green State University. You can follow him on Twitter @MattHendershott.