Frank Novak
Special Teams Consultant

NFL Exp: 15th Season
Packers Exp: 5th Season
 
   

 

Frank Novak was a valuable contributor to the Packers as the special teams group ranked fourth in the NFL on field goal percentage in 2003, up from sixth in 2002 and fifth on kickoff returns, up from 26th in 2002, with a 23.6-yard average. The Packers were one of two teams in the NFC that did not surrender to a blocked punt or field goal. The 2003 kickoff coverage team ranked sixth in the NFC, limiting opponent returners to an average of 20.8 yards per runback, and the punt coverage unit ranked seventh in the conference, holding opponents to an average of 9.9 yards per return.

Under Novak in 2002, two players ranked among Green Bay's all-time special-teams tackles leaders. Paris Lenon posted 22, the most by a Packers player in 12 years and tied for fourth all-time, and Torrance Marshall turned in his second straight 21-tackle season, tying for sixth on the career list.

The 2001 season witnessed strong punt coverage teams which allowed an average of only 8.5 yards per return, tied for eighth-best in the league, and a game-winning play, Allen Rossum's 55-yard punt return for a touchdown to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Nov. 4). The unit's success was buoyed by the efforts of punter Josh Bidwell, who had a stellar year under Novak's direction, finishing with a 36.5-yard net punting average which ranked third in the NFC and marked the second-best effort in team history.

Novak's corps similarly realized success in 2000, including the first three game-winning field goals of placekicker Ryan Longwell¹s playing career and Rossum's two game-turning kickoff returns.

Head Coach Mike Sherman named the widely-respected Novak to the position Feb. 9, 2000.

Of his 34 years in the coaching ranks, Novak spent a total of 19 on the college level and 14 at the professional level, including two seasons in the United States Football League.

     
         
   

Before joining the Packers, Novak most recently headed up the special teams of the San Diego Chargers (1997-98), overseeing a unit that scored five touchdowns during the 1997 season ‹ a total that ranked as the highest one-season output of the 1990s. Two such strikes transpired on the same day, Nov 2, 1997, with Eric Metcalf returning two punts for touchdowns in a contest at Cincinnati, one of just 11 such occurrences in league history. Novak subsequently coached through the first week of the 1998 regular season before resigning and spending the remainder of the year, as well as the 1999 campaign, out of football.

Prior to his stint with the Chargers, the Leominster, Mass., native enjoyed similar success during his two seasons (1995-96) as special teams coach of the Detroit Lions. Under Novak¹s direction, Glyn Milburn ranked fourth in the NFC in 1996 with a 25.4-yard kickoff return average.

Novak broke into the NFL in 1989 as the running backs coach of the then-Houston Oilers, for five seasons (1989-93) tutoring a unit that included the likes of Mike Rozier, Alonzo Highsmith (now a college scout with the Packers), Allen Pinkett, Lorenzo White and Gary Brown. Rozier, White and Brown all posted 1,000-yard seasons under Novak.

Heading up the Oilers¹ special teams in 1994, Novak directed a unit that limited opponents to a league-low 17.3 yards per kickoff return.

 
   
    Novak began his college coaching career at his alma mater, Northern Michigan University, in 1966. He spent five years (1966-70) as the school¹s offensive backs/receivers coach before two seasons as offensive coordinator (1971-72). A season as offensive coordinator at East Carolina followed (1973), a year which saw the Pirates win the Southern Conference Championship.

Moving on to the University of Virginia in 1974, Novak tutored the quarterbacks for one season and the offensive backs the following year. A two-year stint as offensive coordinator at Western Illinois ensued (1976-77), followed by a six-year tenure at Holy Cross (1978-83), coaching the offensive backs for four seasons before serving as offensive coordinator the final two years.

Novak then spent two seasons in the USFL, beginning with the Oklahoma Outlaws in 1984 as running backs coach. Moving on to the Birmingham Stallions as wide receivers coach in 1985, he was slated to be offensive coordinator for the following, 1986 season before the league folded. Subsequently out of football for the 1986-87 campaigns, he then coached the University of Missouri¹s running backs for one year (1988) before his NFL debut with the Oilers.

Born in Leominster, Mass., Novak was a three-sport athlete (football, basketball and baseball) at Leominster High School before going on to star at quarterback for Northern Michigan, earning NCAA Division II honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press in 1961. He earned bachelor¹s and master¹s degrees in English and a certificate as a secondary reading specialist from the university.

Novak then spent some time as a player in the training camp of the CFL¹s Toronto Argonauts in 1962 prior to entering the coaching profession. He coached at the high school level in New London, Conn., and Iron Mountain, Mich., before moving to the college coaching ranks at NMU.

Novak lives in Lake Orion, Mi., and has five grown children: Frank, Kimberly, Tracy, Linda and Jason, an assistant strength and conditioning coach with the Tennessee Titans. In his spare time he enjoys playing racquetball, fishing and participating in all outdoor sports. Active in the community, Novak regularly speaks to a variety of groups.

NOVAK AT A GLANCE
  • Joined Packers on Feb. 9, 2000; retired as special teams coach Jan. 10, 2003, he remains on staff as special teams consultant.
  • Has 35 year¹s experience in the coaching profession, including 14 NFL seasons, two USFL campaigns and 19 college seasons.
  • Served the 1981-83 seasons on the same Holy Cross staff with Packers linebackers coach Mark Duffner
  • One of a few father/son combinations working in the NFL, son Jason is the assistant strength and conditioning coach for the Tennessee Titans.
  • Earned NCAA Division II honorable mention All-America honors from the Associated Press in 1961 as a quarterback at Northern Michigan.
COACHING BACKGROUND:

Year College/Pro Team Position Coached
1966-70 Northern Michigan Offensive Backs/Receivers
1971-72 Northern Michigan Offensive Coordinator
1973 East Carolina Offensive Coordinator
1974 Univ. of Virginia Quarterbacks
1975 Univ. of Virginia Offensive Backs
1976-77 Western Illinois Offensive Coordinator
1978-81 Holy Cross Offensive Backs
1982-83 Holy Cross Offensive Coordinator
1984 Oklahoma Outlaws (USFL) Running Backs
1985 Birmingham Stallions (USFL) Receivers
1988 Univ. of Missouri Running Backs
1989-93 Houston Oilers Running Backs
1994 Houston Oilers Special Teams
1995-96 Detroit Lions Special Teams
1997-98 San Diego Chargers Special Teams
2000-02 Green Bay Packers Special Teams
2003-05 Green Bay Packers Special Teams Consultant