Ron Zook joins Pack's coaching staff

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Packers hired former Florida and Illinois coach Ron Zook as assistant special teams coach, the team announced Friday.

Zook had been out of coaching since 2011, when he was fired after seven seasons at Illinois. Previously, he was coach at Florida for three seasons after succeeding Steve Spurrier.

The 59-year-old Zook has NFL coaching experience both as a defensive and special teams assistant. He was the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator in 2000 and 2001. Packers coach Mike McCarthy also was on that Saints staff, as offensive coordinator.

Prior to that, Zook coached defensive backs for the Kansas City Chiefs in 1999. He also coached special teams for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1996 to 1998.

Also Friday, the Packers announced Sam Gash as their new running backs coach.

Gash coached running backs for the Detroit Lions from 2008 to 2012. As an NFL player, Gash was a teammate of the person he replaces on the Packers' staff, Alex Van Pelt. They played together with the Buffalo Bills.

In January, Van Pelt was promoted from running backs coach to quarterbacks coach. He replaced Ben McAdoo, who became the New York Giants' offensive coordinator.