AP NEWS - Mark Hatley, the Green Bay Packers' vice president of football operations, has died at age 54. Hatley's agent, Bob LaMonte, said he received
a call from coach and general manager Mike Sherman on Tuesday morning informing him of Hatley's death overnight.
Hatley was second in command behind Sherman on personnel matters in Green Bay, where he was responsible for overseeing the team's scouting efforts.
The cause of his death wasn't known, and the Brown County medical examiner didn't immediately return a call from the Associated Press.
Sherman wasn't immediately available for comment, and team president Bob Harlan also didn't return a phone call to the AP.
LaMonte said in a phone interview from his home in Half Moon Bay, Calif., he had just seen Hatley on Monday when he was in Green Bay to meet with
"He was going golfing. He was fine," LaMonte said of Hatley.
Hatley joined the Packers in May 2001 after a four-year stint in Chicago, where he drafted back-to-back rookies of the year in Brian Urlacher and
Anthony Thomas in 2000 and '01. Sherman wanted an experienced front office hand to stay on top of college scouting matters and free agency while he
was occupied with running the Packers.
Hatley was known as a tireless worker who spent countless hours in the film room scouting college talent.
He began his career in personnel in 1992 as pro personnel director for the Kansas City Chiefs and was hired by the Bears in 1997.
A native of Borger, Texas, Hatley played linebacker at Oklahoma State, leading the Cowboys in tackles in 1971 before beginning his coaching career at
OSU from 1973-75. He also worked at Tulsa, Texas Christian and Baylor before joining the New Orleans Saints' coaching staff in 1984.
He joined the Chiefs as linebackers coach in 1987.
"Mark was a consummate professional," LaMonte said. "Everywhere he went he had great success. He's been terrific at his job and was just a fantastic
individual. You'll never meet a better guy."
Hatley is survived by his wife, Claudia; daughter, Eliza; and two grandsons. Tuesday was his 30th wedding anniversary.