Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy made changes to his coaching staff on Thursday, an effort that will reportedly allow him to relinquish his offensive play-calling duties and make his assistant coaches more desirable for head coach openings.
McCarthy promoted offensive coordinator Tom Clements to associate head coach/offense, a position that will allow Clements to assume the play-calling.
Additionally, former wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett will now be the offensive coordinator, while Alex Van Pelt adds wide receivers coach to his duties that already included being the quarterbacks coach.
It was reported earlier this week by NFL.com that McCarthy wanted to make his assistants more attractive to other organizations when head coaching positions are open.
Clements possesses 22 years of coaching experience, serving as the Packers' offensive coordinator for the past three seasons after serving as quarterbacks coach in his first six years with Green Bay. In his nine seasons with the team, the Packers have finished in the top 10 in the NFL in total offense eight times and in the top 10 in scoring eight times.
Bennett begins his 23rd NFL season in 2015, including his 21st in Green Bay. He spent the past four seasons as the Packers' wide receivers coach after six seasons as the running backs coach. Bennett originally joined Green Bay as a fourth-round draft pick in 1992 and holds the club single-season record for receptions by a running back with 78 (1994). He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2005.
Van Pelt will be entering his fourth season with the Packers and his 10th as an NFL coach in 2015. In his first two seasons with the Packers, Van Pelt served as Green Bay's running backs coach.
Green Bay also named Mike Solari assistant offensive line coach, Jerry Montgomery defensive front assistant, Ron Zook special teams coordinator and Jason Simmons assistant special teams coach.
Zook is in his second season with Green Bay, having served as assistant special teams coach in 2014. The 2015 season will mark his eighth season as an NFL assistant and his fourth as a special teams coordinator. He has 35 years of coaching experience on the professional and collegiate levels, including 10 seasons as a head coach.
Prior to joining the Packers, Zook served as the head coach at the University of Illinois from 2005-11, earning Big Ten Coach of the Year honors in 2007 after he led the Fighting Illini to a 9-4 record and the program's first Rose Bowl berth since 1983. Before his stint at Illinois, Zook spent three seasons (2002-04) as head coach at the University of Florida.