Eliot Wolf proud to follow father's path

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Eliot Wolf was just 9 years old when Ron Wolf became the Green Bay Packers' general manager in 1991. Even back then, the kid knew he wanted to be just like his dad.

Every night, Ron would bring home the waiver wire -- back when it was literally sent out on paper -- for Eliot to scour.

"We'd talk about players, and I'd say, 'What about this guy? What about that guy?'" Eliot recalled this week. "Kind of the same things he does to me now. It's pretty cool."

Fast-forward to January of this year, when Eliot's mom called to inform him that his dad had been elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Eliot cried.

And then he was practically in disbelief when his dad asked him to be his presenter at the induction ceremony, which takes place Saturday in Canton, Ohio.

"We used to joke back when I was a little kid about, 'Hey, dad, when you get in the Hall of Fame, I'm going to present you. And he said, 'OK,'" Eliot said before he left for Canton. "And it's kind of surreal when the moment actually happens and he asked me."

Eliot said the hard part is actually over. He recorded nearly an hour's worth of material about his father, and the Hall of Fame will splice it into a five-minute video introduction before Ron, who will be the first of the eight inductees to be enshrined, will give his speech.

And he will relish seeing his dad enshrined.

"That's the best thing about the Hall of Fame, is it recognizes the people that have really been ambassadors for the game and changed the game for the better," Eliot said. "For my dad to be mentioned for names like Lambeau and Lombardi, I think that's really special."

The Wolf name has become synonymous with scouting. Ron spent 38 years in the business, beginning in 1963 as a scout for the Oakland Raiders. When he finally walked away from the Packers in 2001, his legacy was cemented as one of the finest personnel men in NFL history.

And his fingerprints remain on the league. Teams, including the New York Jets this past offseason, regularly ask him to consult when they're hiring coaches or general managers. His scouting offspring -- not including his actual offspring, Eliot -- currently run the personnel departments of five NFL teams: the Packers (Ted Thompson), Chiefs (John Dorsey), Raiders (Reggie McKenzie), Seahawks (John Schneider) and Redskins (Scot McCloughan).

And then there's Eliot, who wrote his first scouting report at age 14; it was on Chad Scott, who went on to become a first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers in 1997.

"I gave him a first-round grade," Eliot said.

The younger Wolf, 33, was promoted this offseason to director of player personnel, making him the highest-ranked scout on Thompson's staff.

"He did it after I retired," Ron said recently. "He accomplished what he has on his own. Everything he's done makes me very proud. I think it's a natural to have him introduce me."

There's little doubt Eliot will one day run his own personnel department, perhaps even in Green Bay when Thompson retires. And yes, he did reach his current position on his own, but he's not afraid to admit that if his last name were something other than Wolf, he might never have gotten the chance.

"I don't think I'd be standing here today if it was," he said. "I understand the doors that my dad opened for me and the advantage that I had over other people just being able to be around the game from a young age."