(Here is the official Browns press release on their newest front office hires)
Browns add Eliot Wolf and Alonzo Highsmith to personnel staff
BEREA, Ohio – Cleveland Browns General Manager John Dorsey today named Eliot Wolf Assistant General Manager and Alonzo Highsmith Vice President of Player Personnel. Wolf spent the past 14 seasons with the Green Bay Packers, most recently as Director of Football Operations, while Highsmith had been with the Packers personnel department for 19 years, the last six as Senior Personnel Executive.
“We’re lucky to add Alonzo and Eliot to our personnel staff,” said Dorsey. “Alonzo’s 25 years of experience in the National Football League as a player, scout and personnel executive give him a unique perspective when it comes to evaluating talent and building a team. Alonzo and I share the same passion for this great game of football. We are going to set out to find talented football players that possess that same passion for the game. Eliot has been a fine executive in this league for some time now. It’s been great to watch him grow up around this league when I was with him in Green Bay and from afar for the last five-plus years. He’s been a big reason for the consistent success the Packers have experienced over the last decade. Adding Eliot and Alonzo to our personnel leadership group, that already includes Andrew Berry, will strengthen us and help us develop into the type of personnel department we need to achieve the success our great fans deserve.”
“I’m so thankful for this opportunity and I’m really excited about joining the Cleveland Browns organization,” said Wolf. “I really like the direction of where leadership is headed. We’re going to build this team the right way and to be a part of that from the ground up is going to be special.”
“This is going to be an exciting challenge,” said Highsmith. “It’s great to reunite with John Dorsey. He is someone I’ve looked up to and has always been a mentor to me. We had great success together in Green Bay and we both understand the hard work it takes to create a winning environment. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to be part of something special. Some of my fondest memories in football were playing the Browns in the playoffs one year and the fans throwing dog bones at us so we had to turn around and play that series at the opposite end zone. I believe in the Haslams, Coach Jackson and John, and I’m looking forward to helping build the type of team Cleveland Browns fans will be proud of.”
In addition, the Browns have also added Jimmy Noel as Assistant Director of Pro Scouting, Matt Donahoe as Scout and Dan Zegers as Personnel Coordinator. Noel, Donahoe and Zegers all previously spent time in the Kansas City Chiefs personnel department. Ken Kovash who has served as Vice President-Player Personnel for the last two seasons will transition to a Vice President role in the club’s strategy department.
Wolf spent the past 14 seasons with the Green Bay Packers. During his time in Green Bay, the Packers earned 10 trips to the playoffs, seven NFC North division titles and a victory in Super Bowl XLV. From 2004-17, Green Bay ranked among the NFL leaders in points per game (third with 25.6) and wins (fourth with 224).
Wolf officially joined the Packers as a pro personnel assistant in 2004. He was promoted to assistant director of pro personnel in 2008. He spent 2011 as assistant director of player personnel before serving as director of pro personnel for three seasons (2012-14). Wolf was elevated to director of player personnel in 2015 and spent his final two seasons (2016-17) as director of football operations.
His father, Ron, was the general manager of the Packers and was inducted in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015. Wolf’s scouting career unofficially began at the age of 10 when he joined his father in film sessions. He later held scouting internships with the Packers, Falcons and Seahawks.
Wolf earned a B.A. degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing from the University of Miami (Fla.). He graduated in December 2003 after just three and a half years in order to begin his NFL career before the 2004 NFL Draft. At Miami, he volunteered in the football office’s recruiting department.
Highsmith played six seasons in the NFL and spent the past 19 seasons in the Green Bay Packers player personnel department. He joined the Packers as a college scout in 1999 and spent 13 years on the college scouting staff. He was promoted to senior personnel executive in 2012 and remained in that role through the 2017 season. During his time in Green Bay, the Packers earned 13 trips to the playoffs, nine NFC North division titles and a victory in Super Bowl XLV. From 1999-17, Green Bay won 304 games, fourth-most in the NFL during that span. The Packers also ranked second in the NFL with an average of 25.3 points per game from 1999-17.
As a running back, Highsmith was the third overall pick by the Houston Oilers in the 1987 draft. He spent his first three seasons (1987-89) with Houston, starting 40 consecutive games, before being traded to Dallas. He spent a year and a half (1990-91) with the Cowboys before finishing his career with Tampa Bay (1991-92). He retired following the 1992 season following a series of knee injuries. He appeared in 65 regular season games and rushed for 1,195 yards on 283 carries with seven touchdowns. He added 42 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns. Following his NFL playing career, Highsmith spent four years as a professional heavyweight boxer. He compiled a 27-1-1 career record.
A four-year letterman at the University of Miami, Highsmith helped the Hurricanes capture the 1983 national championship. He led the team in rushing his sophomore and senior seasons and earned a degree in business administration.