The Bears have hired executive director of player personnel Ryan Poles to be their new general manager, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported on Tuesday.
Poles, 36, spent 13 seasons in the Chiefs’ front office after a successful collegiate career as an offensive lineman for Boston College. He signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2008. He was also considered to be a top candidate for the Vikings’ general manager opening. Instead, the Bears will be his NFC North landing spot.
Prior to being promoted to executive director of player personnel, Poles served as the assistant director of player personnel from 2018 to 2021. He rose up the ranks of the Kansas City organization for his work in the college scouting department. He worked under numerous high-ranking executives during his time with the team, having spent time under the likes of Scott Pioli, John Dorsey, Chris Ballard, and Brett Veach.
Poles will be tasked with sculpting a new roster around the Bears’ current foundation, as well as selecting the team’s new head coach. With young players like Justin Fields, Roquan Smith, Jaylon Johnson, Teven Jenkins, Darnell Mooney, and David Montgomery under rookie deals, there is a nucleus for Poles and his eventual staff to work with. However, with an aging defense and one of the least efficient offenses in the league last year, there is some work to be done before the team can be considered a playoff contender.
With his hiring, Poles becomes the ninth person to hold the official title of general manager in Bears history, as well as the first Black person to officially take on the title for the team. He and his wife Katie bring their two children, Mason and Jordyn, to Chicago.
Poles and whichever scouts, coaches, and personnel he keeps on the roster will be tasked with the ultimate goal of bringing a Super Bowl victory to the Windy City, something the team has not done in 36 years.