Ryan Poles thankful for Boston College roots
Story by Gabby Hajduk
As Ryan Poles walked through Boston College's football facility ahead of the Bears' Oct. 24 game against the New England Patriots, he was hit with a slew of memories. While the Yawkey Center, which was built during Poles' junior year at BC, didn't necessarily look the same 17 years later, it still held remembrances of formative moments in his life.
Poles walked through the since-renovated locker room and visualized the creation of friendships he still holds today. He thought of living in university housing with former teammates like Colts quarterback Matt Ryan and Bears co-director of player personnel Trey Koziol, remembering all the highs and lows they shared.
Then Poles headed up to the second floor, where he encountered his first office from when he worked as a graduate assistant in 2008. The office wasn't glamorous as four people crammed into the tiny space, but Poles couldn't help but smile when he saw it.
While Poles felt gratitude for how far he's come, he also remembered the tools he learned in Chestnut Hill which laid the foundation for his rise to an NFL general manager. One of Poles' main tasks was stapling hundreds of packets together for recruiting. At the time, printers didn't automatically staple, leading to hours of tedious work.
Admittedly, Poles didn't put much focus into the task. He put staples all over the place. Most weren't parallel to the top, some were bent and others didn't even make it through the whole packet. Then one day, he walked into the office and found his packets -- with the messy staples circled -- hanging on the walls, along with a simple message from his supervisor: 'WTF.'
"It was one of those moments I still remember today," Poles said. "And I still talk to our scouting assistants that are young, it's like you've got to take pride in your work regardless of how small the task is. You've got to be detailed. You gotta do it the right way. Because at the end of the day that represents you. So those things and just being in that office and going through those little experiences were things I hold on to."