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The Chicago Bears let Ryan Poles get away once but this time, that’s not happening.
The 2003 graduate of Canandaigua Academy on Tuesday was named the new general manager of one of the NFL’s most storied franchises. The Bears made the official announcement late Tuesday evening.
Poles, 36, has been in demand as a rising football executive as a finalist for the GM spot with four different teams in the last two years.
Here are five things to know about Poles.
1. He was a standout lineman in high school
Poles was named All-Greater Rochester in football as a 6-foot-5, 295-pound Canandaigua lineman in 2001 and 2002 and was also named the 2002 Gatorade New York State Player of the Year. He played basketball at Canandaigua and graduated as the school’s career leader in blocked shots.
2. He played football at the same college as his father
Played football at Boston College, where he was a left tackle and guard and protected the blind side of quarterback Matt Ryan, current quarterback of the Atlanta Falcons. He wore No. 72 for a season, the same number as his father, Caledonia-Mumford graduate Robert “Junior” Poles, who was a three-year starter at BC (1979-82). Ryan signed with the Bears as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College but was cut after training camp.
3. He has been a finalist for several GM jobs
Poles was a finalist for the GM spot with four different NFL teams in the last two seasons. Last year, he was a finalist with the Carolina Panthers and this year, the New York Giants were in the running until they hired Joe Schoen last week. He was scheduled to interview with the Minnesota Vikings on Wednesday, but reached a deal with the Bears on Tuesday after he was spotted being picked up at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport by Bears chairman George McCloskey.
4. He returns to Canandaigua frequently
Poles was in Canandaigua last fall to be inducted into the Canandaigua Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. He was joined by sister Kelli Poles, who had an outstanding basketball career at Canandaigua. Ryan returns to Canandaigua for regular visits with friends and family in the area and said there is no better place to be in the summer than on Canandaigua Lake.
5. He has been with Kansas City since 2009
Poles has been with the Chiefs front office since 2009 in a variety of front office roles as a scout and personnel evaluator. This season, he was Executive Director of Player Personnel and the Chiefs have credited Poles as being an integral part of the front office that’s built the Chiefs into a perennial contender with draft picks like Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones, Tyreek Hill and Tyran Mathieu that helped Kansas City win the Super Bowl in 2020.
This article originally appeared on Rochester Democrat and Chronicle: Who is Ryan Poles? 5 things to know about new GM of the Chicago Bears