EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants hired Jerry
Reese as their general manager Monday, making him only the third
black GM in NFL history.
Reese, who served as the team's director of player personnel the
last four years, was considered the favorite among the Giants'
in-house candidates to replace Ernie Accorsi, who held the post for
nine seasons before retiring.
Reese, 43, will formally be introduced as general manager and
senior vice president at a news conference Tuesday morning, the
team announced on its Web site.
The only other black general managers in the NFL are Baltimore's
Ozzie Newsome and Houston's Rick Smith. There are several black men
who have considerable say in front offices, notably Rod Graves of
Arizona, whose title is senior vice president-football operations.
Ray Anderson was vice president of the Atlanta Falcons for the last
four years before moving to the NFL in August as senior vice
president of football operations.
There were seven black head coaches in the NFL last season, the
most ever. Two of them, Dennis Green of the Cardinals and Art Shell
of Oakland, were fired after the season, although Shell will remain
in the Raiders' front office.
Critics of the NFL's minority hiring policy have generally
praised the league for increasing the number of minority coaches,
but have pointed out that there is a void in the front office.
Last month, when Reese was mentioned as the favorite for the
job, Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy, the senior black head coach,
said: "That's great -- just to have an African-American mentioned
that way is great."
A graduate of the University of Tennessee at Martin, Reese first
joined the Giants' scouting department in 1994 after working on the
coaching staff at his alma mater.
As the Giants' player personnel director, he oversaw all aspects
of college scouting and had most of the responsibility for the
draft. Reese previously served as assistant director of pro
personnel for three years.