Hired February 7, 2014, Chris Gizzi begins his fourth season as a strength and conditioning assistant with the Packers. His primary duties include designing, organizing and implementing strength and conditioning programs as well as speed and agility sessions, and providing recovery strategies and workload-management guidance.
Prior to coming to Green Bay, Gizzi spent the 2013 season as an assistant football strength and conditioning coach for the University of North Carolina. Before joining the Tar Heels at the start of the college football season, Gizzi served as a strength and conditioning intern with the Packers during the 2013 offseason and training camp.
As a player, Gizzi entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Denver Broncos in 1998. A 1997 graduate of the Air Force Academy, the linebacker participated in the Broncos’ offseason activities in ’98 and ’99, but spent both seasons on the reserve/military list while honoring his commitment to the United States military.
Upon completing his military duty in 2000, Gizzi returned to the Broncos and played in all four preseason contests before he was released by the team in the final roster reduction. Gizzi was acquired by the Packers off waivers on the eve of the 2000 regular season and spent time on both the 53-man roster and the practice squad during his first season with the club. The first-year linebacker played in 11 games and ranked fifth on the club with eight special teams tackles.
Gizzi returned to the Packers in 2001 and played in 12 games, making the first and only start of his career in Week 3 at Carolina. Gizzi tallied four tackles (three solo) in the 28-7 win over the Panthers and finished the season with nine tackles (six solo), before he was placed on injured reserve in Week 15.
A two-year starter and three-time letterwinner (1994, 1996-97) at Air Force, Gizzi played in 38 games for the Falcons, finishing his career with 342 tackles (155 solo), including 26 for a loss, and 10 sacks. The standout defender earned back-to-back Western Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year awards in 1996-97, becoming only the second player in the Academy’s history to do so.
The 42-year-old Gizzi holds a B.S. in psychology from Air Force and an M.S. in human performance and injury prevention from California University (Pa.). He is currently working on a doctorate degree through A.T. Still University. Gizzi is also certified as a Sports Performance Coach by USA Weightlifting, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association, and a Performance-Enhancement and Corrective-Exercise Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine.
With a strong interest in entrepreneurship, Gizzi has embarked on a number of business ventures, each of which reflects his passion for health, conditioning and athlete performance. In 2004, Gizzi and his brother co-founded ZoneReady, an online digital platform which serves as a surrogate training resource for athletic departments that do not have in-house strength and conditioning programs. Gizzi and his wife, Jennifer, opened their first juice and smoothie shop, Formula Fresh, in 2013. Currently, they have four locations along the Florida Panhandle that serve local residents and seasonal tourists. Their future plans are to franchise the Formula Fresh brand and distribute their cold-pressed juices and organic beverages across the country.
Gizzi was born March 8, 1975, in Cleveland, Ohio, and currently resides in Green Bay. He and Jennifer have two daughters, Alice, 6, and Abigail, 2, and two sons, A.J., 4, and Atticus, an infant.