Mike Trgovac (pronounced TER-guh-vack) begins his ninth season with the Packers, his second stint with the team, and his 22nd season overall in the NFL.
Named to his current position by Head Coach Mike McCarthy on Feb. 3, 2009, Trgovac was also the Packers’ defensive line coach in 1999, the same year McCarthy was the team’s quarterbacks coach.
Since Trgovac took over as defensive line coach in 2009, the Packers rank No. 4 in the NFL in sacks (288) and tied for No. 7 in the NFL in rushing TDs allowed (73). Green Bay has finished in the top 10 in the league in sacks in five of the last six seasons (2010, 2012-15).
Trgovac’s 2015 unit was again led by fourth-year DT Mike Daniels as he continued his ascension as one of the league’s top interior defensive linemen. For the second consecutive season, Daniels led the Green Bay defensive line in tackles (66) and sacks (four), while ranking second in QB hits (12). Daniels’ 16 sacks since the start of the 2013 season are tied for No. 8 among NFL defensive tackles. Overall, Trgovac’s line helped lead the Packers to 43 sacks last season, tied for No. 7 in the NFL. The Packers also ranked fifth in the league in sacks per pass attempt (7.8 percent) in 2015.
In 2014, Trgovac tutored DT Letroy Guion as the veteran posted career highs for both tackles (62) and sacks (3½) as he started all 16 games for the first time in his career. Daniels led the defensive line with a career-high 69 tackles, paced the team in both QB hits (19) and pressures (22), and was No. 3 on the club in sacks (5½). Trgovac’s line contributed to a run defense that allowed just 86.4 yards per game over the final eight contests, No. 5 in the NFL over that span, and 3.6 yards per carry, No. 6 in the league over that span. His group also helped the Packers finish tied for No. 9 in the league in sacks with 41 on the season.
Trgovac guided a defensive line in ’13 that helped Green Bay finish tied for No. 8 in the league in sacks with 44 on the season. Daniels saw a noticeable jump in his production under Trgovac’s direction in ’13, as he finished No. 2 on the team with 6½ sacks, which was also tied for No. 6 in the league among defensive tackles.
In 2012, Trgovac’s group helped the Packers rank No. 11 in total defense (336.8 ypg) and No. 4 in sacks (47). Under his guidance, veteran DT Ryan Pickett led the line with 75 tackles, his highest total since ’08. DT B.J Raji was named a Pro Bowl alternate, DE Mike Neal registered a then-career-high 4½ sacks, and Daniels saw significant time in his rookie season.
In 2011, Raji became the first Green Bay DT to be selected to the Pro Bowl since Bob Brown in 1972. Raji recorded 43 tackles, three sacks, three passes defensed and a fumble recovery. In 2010, he posted career highs in every statistical category on the way to being named a Pro Bowl alternate. His 6½ sacks were the most by an NFL nose tackle since Minnesota’s Ken Clarke recorded seven in 1990, and his 66 tackles led all Green Bay linemen. Veteran DE Cullen Jenkins posted a career-high seven sacks despite missing five contests due to injury, and Raji and Jenkins helped the Packers finish No. 2 in the league in sacks in 2010 with 47, the highest league ranking in club history.
In 2009, Trgovac directed a line that made the transition to the 3-4 defense and helped the Packers lead the NFL in rushing defense for the first time in franchise history. The average of 83.3 rushing yards allowed per game set a team record for any season. The Packers moved up 25 spots in the rushing defense rankings from ’08, the biggest one-year improvement in club history.
Trgovac came to Green Bay from Carolina, where he served as the defensive coordinator for six seasons. In that time, he directed a defense that produced 10 Pro Bowl selections and ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in both yards and points allowed three times. In 2005, the Panthers ranked third in yards (282.6), fifth in points (259) and first in takeaways (a team-record 42) in helping Carolina advance to its second NFC Championship Game in three seasons.
His unit’s ability to create turnovers had begun to show up in the second half of 2004, when the Panthers had 29 takeaways in the season’s final eight games. The 38 total takeaways ranked second in the league and tied the club record at the time, and the defense’s 26 interceptions were a league high and team record.
In 2003, Trgovac’s inaugural season as a defensive coordinator, Carolina’s defense ranked eighth in the NFL in yards (295.3) and 10th in points (304), and held top-10 rankings in a handful of other categories. The defense forced four turnovers in Carolina’s 14-3 victory in the NFC Championship Game at Philadelphia, earning the Panthers their first Super Bowl berth.
As defensive line coach in 2002, Trgovac oversaw a dramatic improvement in the Panthers’ front four that made a strong case for him taking over as coordinator. Carolina ranked third in the league with 39 sacks and first in rushing yards per attempt. Under Trgovac’s tutelage, DE Julius Peppers was named the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, while DT Kris Jenkins earned first-team All-Pro honors from The Associated Press.
Prior to his time in Carolina, Trgovac coached the defensive line of the Washington Redskins for two seasons (2000-01). Ends Marco Coleman (12) and Bruce Smith (10) both reached double digits in sacks in 2000, with Coleman being selected to the Pro Bowl.
Trgovac’s first stint with the Packers, in 1999, was Green Bay’s first season in seven years without Reggie White leading the defensive line. That year, DE Keith McKenzie matched his career high in sacks with eight in a part-time specialist role.
Trgovac broke into the NFL as the defensive line coach of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1995-98. In 1995, their line led the NFL in sacks with 42½ (team had 48). DE William Fuller topped the club with 13 and made the Pro Bowl for the first of two straight years.
Trgovac’s career working with defensive linemen in the college coaching ranks spanned 11 seasons and five schools, beginning with his alma mater, Michigan, as a graduate assistant in 1984. After two seasons there, he moved on to Ball State (1986-88), Navy (1989), Colorado State (1990-91) and Notre Dame (1992-94).
With the Fighting Irish under Lou Holtz, Trgovac saw two of his protégés become early selections in the 1994 NFL Draft, as the San Francisco 49ers took Bryant Young seventh overall and the Chicago Bears picked Jim Flanigan in the third round.
Trgovac’s playing career at Michigan from 1977-80 under Bo Schembechler featured three seasons as a starter at middle guard on the defensive line. He was a two-time All-Big Ten honoree and a second-team All-America selection as a senior. He played in three Rose Bowls for the Wolverines and received his degree in education from Michigan in 1982.
Born Feb. 27, 1959, in Youngstown, Ohio, Trgovac was an all-state football player and wrestler at Fitch High School in Austintown, Ohio. He was named Ohio’s Defensive Lineman of the Year and also captured the state heavyweight wrestling title as a senior. Trgovac and his wife, Angela, have a daughter, Jordan, 22, a recent graduate of the College of Charleston (S.C.), and a son, Michael, 17.