The Columns

Chuck Lane ’63 Reminisces About Working for Lombardi

— by on April 11th, 2016

Fifty years ago, Chuck Lane, who graduated from Washington and Lee University in 1963, became the public relations director for the Green Bay Packers under Vince Lombardi.

In an interview with the Green Bay Packers website (part of the USA oday Network), he recalled, “I really thought it was the greatest job in the world. A pro football team, No. 1. No. 2, my favorite football team, the Packers. And No. 3, working for Lombardi, at age 23 with relatively little experience, no experience. To have this opportunity, I couldn’t believe it.”

During his three-year stint with the team, he remembers having to inform the legendary coach on the day of the 1967 NFL championship (later known as the Ice Bowl) that the newly installed heating system under Lambeau Field was broken.

“I’d rather go in and tell him Marie (Lombardi’s wife) was cheating on him than that his field wasn’t working,” Chuck said. “He was fit to be tied. He didn’t blow at me, but he was not a happy man. I told him and got the hell out of there.”

Chuck added, “You’ve never been hollered at until you’ve been hollered at by Coach Lombardi. But by and large he’d forget it quickly. He’d blow, and then he’d come back and the waters had stilled. But he didn’t seem to hold anything against people. He was great to work for.”

After leaving the Green Bay Packers, Lane worked in public relations for the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay’s athletic department and for two teams in the USFL. He then returned to Green Bay, where before retiring last year he worked for Humana health insurance and its previous incarnations, first in media relations and later overseeing its agents’ incentives travel programs, which allowed him to travel the world.

“The Packer thing was absolutely wonderful,” he said. “I had an opportunity to meet some wonderful people. It gave me national exposure, and it still opens doors.”