Former Packers defensive coordinator Fritz Shurmur is one of four former NFL assistant coaches chosen to receive the inaugural Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman award by the Professional Football Writers of America (PFWA).
Shurmur was the Packers defensive coordinator from 1994-98 under head coach Mike Holmgren. He headed a Packers defense that allowed the fewest points in the league in 1996 as Green Bay won Super Bowl XXXI and continued with many of those same defensive players — Reggie White, LeRoy Butler, Gilbert Brown and others — as the Packers reached the Super Bowl again the following season.
The new award is named for Zimmerman, who covered the NFL for nearly 30 years for Sports Illustrated, and is given for lifetime achievement as an assistant coach. Shurmur died 15 years ago at the age of 67. In addition to the Packers, he also worked for the Lions, Patriots, Rams and Cardinals in his pro coaching career.
The others honored with the inaugural award are the late Jim Johnson, Howard Mudd and Ernie Zampese.
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