After an extensive 13-day search process, the Bears on Tuesday hired Ryan Poles to be their next general manager.
Poles, 36, has spent the last 13 seasons working with the Chiefs as a player personnel assistant (2009), college scouting administrator (2010-12), college scouting coordinator (2013-16), director of college scouting (2017), assistant director of player personnel (2018-20) and executive director of player personnel (2021).
"We are thrilled to be able to add someone of Ryan's background and football expertise to our organization," said Bears Chairman George H. McCaskey. "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."
In his latest role in Kansas City, Poles oversaw all aspects of college scouting, assisted with the pro personnel department and prepared for free agency. He also helped general manager Brett Veach with the NFL Draft and oversaw the Chiefs' out-of-town area scouts. In Poles' lone season as Kansas City's director of college scouting (2017), the Chiefs traded up in the first round of the draft to select quarterback Patrick Mahomes at No. 10.
In each of the past six seasons, Kansas City has captured the AFC West Division title and recorded double-digit victories, winning two conference championships and one Super Bowl to cap the 2019 season. This Sunday the Chiefs will become the first team in NFL history to host four straight conference title games. This season, six Kansas City players were voted to the Pro Bowl: Mahomes, tight end Travis Kelce, receiver Tyreek Hill, left tackle Orlando Brown, defensive tackle Chris Jones and safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Poles worked for three general managers with the Chiefs: Scott Pioli (2009-12), John Dorsey (2013-17) and Veach (2017-present).
"I am extremely grateful to George, the McCaskey family and the rest of the Bears organization for this opportunity," Poles said. "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."
The Bears' five-member search team conducted a second interview with Poles Tuesday at Halas Hall. The search team consisted of McCaskey, president/CEO Ted Phillips, Hall of Fame executive Bill Polian, Bears vice president of player engagement LaMar "Soup" Campbell and Bears senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion Tanesha Wade.
The search team was impressed with Poles' leadership, direct communication style, poise, intelligence and confidence. They liked that he excelled in his role with an elite organization and were impressed with the plan and vision he shared to make the Bears successful. After Tuesday's second interview with Poles concluded, one of the members of the search team emphatically said: "We got our guy."
Prior to entering the NFL, Poles served as a recruiting assistant at his alma mater, Boston College, where he played offensive tackle for five seasons (2003-07), protecting long-time Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan.
Poles signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2008, but he did not make the final roster.
Poles is a native of Canandaigua, N.Y. He becomes the seventh general manager in Bears history, following George S. Halas Jr. (1963-74), Hall of Famer Jim Finks (1974-83), Jerry Vainisi (1983-87), Jerry Angelo (2001-11), Phil Emery (2012-14) and Ryan Pace (2015-21).
After relieving Pace of his duties Jan. 10, the Bears interviewed 13 general manager candidates over 13 days. In addition to Poles, they also spoke with Glenn Cook, Kwesi Adofo-Mensah, Champ Kelly, Jeff Ireland, Monti Ossenfort, Joe Schoen, Ed Dodds, Eliot Wolf, Ran Carthon, Reggie McKenzie, Omar Khan and Morocco Brown.