The Bears have officially found the new leader of their front office. On Tuesday evening the Bears announced they’d hired Ryan Poles to take over as the team’s new general manager.
“We are thrilled to be able to add someone of Ryan’s background and football expertise to our organization,” Bears chairman George McCaskey said in a statement. “His accomplishments with the Chiefs speak for themselves and amplified the team’s standing as one of the premier franchises in professional sports. We are confident that under his leadership, we will reach our goal of bringing a Super Bowl championship to Chicago.”
To our knowledge, Poles kicked off the second round of interviews for the team’s general manager vacancy. The Bears and Poles hit it off so well that each party decided to move forward together after meeting in person on Tuesday. For the Bears that would include canceling reported second-round interviews with Monti Ossenfort, Eliot Wolf, and possibly Morocco Brown as well, as all three were other reported finalists for the job. For Poles, that meant pulling his name from the Vikings wishlist, since he interviewed for their GM job too.
“I am extremely grateful to George, the McCaskey family and the rest of the Bears organization for this opportunity,” Poles said in a statement. “The Chicago Bears are one of the flagship franchises in the National Football League and are recognized as one of the most prestigious clubs in all of sports. It’s an honor for me to join such a well-regarded organization. Together with my family, I’m looking forward to hitting the ground running to help get this organization, its fanbase and the city what they deserve: a winning team and a Super Bowl trophy.”
Before taking the job at Halas Hall, the 36-year-old Poles had spent the last 13 years working in the Chiefs organization, most recently as their executive director of player personnel. Poles comes from a scouting background with an emphasis on the college game, and joined Kansas City’s front office as a scouting assistant in 2009. He was the team’s director of college scouting in 2017, so he was leading the Chief’s college scouting efforts when the team traded up to draft Patrick Mahomes.
The Bears added more information regarding Poles’ background in their introductory announcement.
“Poles oversaw all aspects of the college scouting across the country for the Chiefs while assisting with the pro personnel process and preparing for free agency. He also assisted General Manager Brett Veach with the coordination of the NFL Draft and overseeing the team’s out-of-town area scouts. Poles was instrumental in helping the Chiefs land top draft prospects such as All-Pros Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. This past season the Chiefs tied for second in the NFL with six Pro Bowl selections in Mahomes, Kelce, Tyreek Hill, Orlando Brown, Chris Jones and Tyrann Mathieu and tied for first in the NFL with seven selections in 2020. In total since 2009, the Chiefs have had 69 Pro Bowl selections with 28 different players.”
Poles played college ball, too. He was an offensive tackle for the Boston College Eagles from 2004-2007, so he protected the likes of Quinton Porter, Chris Crane and future NFL star Matt Ryan.
Now it’s time for the Bears to turn their full attention to the head coaching search. Poles will certainly have some names in mind for candidates he’ll want to interview. We’ll see if those names line up with the list of candidates the Bears have already interviewed, or if the team will widen its net even more now. They’ve already spoken to at least 10 candidates. So far, the reported finalists are Colts defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus, Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell.