Munhall native Getsy's rapid rise continues as coach in NFL

Steel Valley product Luke Getsy is working his way up the NFL coaching ranks.
Steel Valley product Luke Getsy is working his way up the NFL coaching ranks.
Mark Kaboly
| Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, 10:06 p.m.

You could only imagine what was still going through Luke Getsy's mind less than 24 hours after being told he was in charge of the Green Bay Packers wide receivers.

Surely it had to be something about Jordy Nelson's knee or Randall Cobb's hands or even the fact Aaron Rodgers was instrumental in Getsy getting the job.

Nah, there was something much more interesting to Getsy — well, at least more interesting six months before the start of the season.

“How are the renovations coming at West Field? How does it look?” asked Getsy, who grew up just down the road in Munhall and graduated from Steel Valley.

Well, good, but nowhere close to as good as Getsy's future as a coach in the NFL.

Only two years after Packers coach Mike McCarthy said Getsy “knocked it out of the park” with an interview for the offensive quality control coach position, Getsy impressed enough in a short period for McCarthy to fill a position he didn't think he needed last year.

The Packers didn't have a full-time receivers coach in 2015, and the unit struggled. Nelson got hurt, Cobb was ineffective, Davante Adams and Jeff Janis didn't make the jump the organization was expecting, and the Packers' deep passing game was non-existent.

Some blamed the lack of a position coach. That excuse is now gone thanks to Getsy.

“We had a plan last year. It wasn't executed obviously to the level we look to achieve,” McCarthy said. “I think more has been made of it frankly as an excuse. With that, the excuses are over. We've changed and adjusted frankly the job responsibilities back more to what we've done in the past. My outlook is hopefully it'll be a much better process.”

Getsy's job is to turn that around this year and hopes his quarterbacking knowledge will pay off in the receivers room. Getsy, 32, spent his entire life throwing the ball to receivers. Now, he will teach them to catch it.

“No matter who it is — Jordy Nelson or Joe Smith — it is my job to get the best out of them and make sure they are playing the best that they can play each and every Sunday,” Getsy said. “The coaches and the players I've been around over the years gave me a lot of fundamentals and teaching skills. The relating part is kind of easy me being a quarterback all my life. Your relationship with your receivers is what makes you successful.”

It has been a 10-year process for Getsy to get his big break — albeit at a position he never played.

Getsy broke numerous passing records at Akron after transferring from Pitt. After spending a summer with the San Francisco 49ers, Getsy bounced around as a graduate assistant to a Division II offensive coordinator back to a GA to coaching receivers at Western Michigan before landing an NFL job.

“I am a driven person, and there are goals and things I want to achieve,” Getsy said. “I don't see myself as a young guy in this profession — I really don't. I have grown up being in — and had an opportunity to coach — a bunch of different places. I have been prepping myself for this opportunity for the last 10 years. I am not surprised because I feel that I am ready.”

Getsy has taken a roundabout way to get where he is, but he feels he earned it.

It started when he got a call two years ago from a Packers team that was trying to infuse youth into their coaching staff. McCarthy, a Greenfield native, was so impressed with Getsy after interviewing him that he hired him on the spot.

“This has been my passion and my focus and I have to make a lot of sacrifices over the last nine years to get to this point,” Getsy said. “I went from a coordinator to a GA. I went from a Division I school to a Division II school. I went from a coordinator to a receiver coach. It was just learning what I felt that I needed to do to be the best coach that I can be.”

Mark Kaboly is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at mkaboly@tribweb.com or via Twitter @MarkKaboly_Trib.

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