Scott Pioli

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Scott Pioli
Scott Pioli, purple tie.jpg
Scott Pioli
Current position
Title Assistant general manager
Team Atlanta Falcons
Personal information
Date of birth (1965-03-31) March 31, 1965 (age 49)
Place of birth Washingtonville, New York
Career information
College Central Connecticut State University
Career highlights
Awards See Below
Team(s) as a coach/administrator
1988–1989

1990–1991


1992–95

1996

1997–2000

2000–2008




2009–2012

2014–present
Syracuse
(Graduate Assistant)
Murray State
(1990) (Offensive Line Coach)
(1991) (Defensive Line Coach)
Cleveland Browns
(Pro Personnel Assistant)
Baltimore Ravens
(Pro Personnel Coordinator)
New York Jets
(Director of Pro Personnel)
New England Patriots
(2000) (Asst. Director of Player Personnel)
(2001) (Director of Player Personnel)
(2002-2008) (VP of Player Personnel)
Kansas City Chiefs
(General Manager)
Atlanta Falcons
(Asst. GM)

Scott Pioli (born March 31, 1965) is currently an NFL informationalist for NBC Sports' Football Night in America and NBC Sports Network's Pro Football Talk.[1] He was a professional American football executive, most recently as general manager for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL), until his release on January 4, 2013.[2] Pioli was previously a front office executive for the Cleveland Browns, Baltimore Ravens, New York Jets, and New England Patriots.[2] Pioli served as Director, and later Vice President of Player Personnel for the Patriots from 2001 to 2008 helping the Patriots franchise win three Super Bowl championships, and the NFL's only 16-0 regular season to date.

On January 22, 2014 the Atlanta Falcons hired Pioli as the Assistant General Manager.[3]

Early years[edit]

Pioli grew up in Washingtonville, New York and attended Washingtonville High School, where he played linebacker and defensive line before graduating in 1983. Between 1983 and 1987 he attended Central Connecticut State University, graduating in 1988 with a degree in communications.[2] He was a three-time Division II All-New England selection as a defensive tackle.[2] In 2005, Central Connecticut inducted Pioli into their hall of fame. In 1988, after graduating with a degree in communications, he accepted a two-year graduate assistant position at Syracuse University, where he also earned a master's degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.[2]

Pioli served as a graduate assistant with the Syracuse football team from 1988 to 1989.[2] In 1990, he began a two-year stint at Murray State University as an offensive line coach in his first year (1990) and as a defensive line coach in his second year (1991).[2]

Professional executive career[edit]

Cleveland Browns/Baltimore Ravens[edit]

In 1992, Pioli was hired as a pro personnel assistant by Bill Belichick, then the head coach of the Cleveland Browns. Pioli's relationship with Belichick dated back to the mid-1980s, when as a student at Central Connecticut, Pioli would drive 90 minutes to the New York Giants training camp. Through a mutual friend, Pioli was introduced to then-Giants defensive coordinator Belichick, who was impressed at Pioli's dedication to travel to each practice and offered him a place to stay.[4]

In Cleveland, Pioli was responsible for the evaluation of both college prospects and veteran free agents, as well as negotiating various player contracts.[2] When the Browns moved to Baltimore after the 1995 season, Pioli stayed with the team and was promoted to Pro Personnel Coordinator for the Ravens' 1996 season and was part of the personnel staff that drafted HOFer Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lewis.

New York Jets[edit]

In 1997, Pioli rejoined Belichick and was hired by the New York Jets as the team's Director of Pro Personnel.[2] Pioli was credited with the signing of a number of veteran free agents, including Kevin Mawae, Vinny Testaverde and Bryan Cox, who played critical roles in the Jets' rebuilding process which helped the team rebound from a 1–15 record in 1996 to a 12–4 record in 1998.[2] The 1998 Jets recorded a franchise-high 12 wins and their first division title since 1968.

New England Patriots[edit]

Pioli during 2007 Patriots training camp

When Belichick accepted the Patriots' head coaching position in 2000, Pioli became vice president of player personnel. The two eventually became the first personnel director/head coach tandem in league annals to win three Super Bowls during a four-year span (2001–2004).[2] He and Belichick split the duties usually held by a general manager on most other NFL teams, though Belichick had the final say.[5]

Pioli’s skills as a talent evaluator helped create a consistent championship contender in New England.[2] He was regularly recognized for his ability to build a team, not simply collecting individual talent,[2] helping to make the Patriots a "model franchise."[2] From 2000–2008, the Patriots had an NFL-best record of 102–42 (.708) and registered 14 playoff victories.[2] Pioli worked in close coordination with Belichick, bringing players to the Patriots who fit into the framework of the club’s team concept.[2] Pioli and Belichick's teams were noted for the depth of talent at all the positions[2] and used an effective combination of draft picks, free-agent signings, and trades to continually upgrade their roster.[2] The most-notable selection in an NFL Draft by Pioli and Belichick was quarterback Tom Brady, who was chosen 199th overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.[2]

In his tenure with the Patriots, Pioli earned promotions from Assistant Director of Player Personnel to Director of Player Personnel in 2001, and to Vice President of Player Personnel in 2002. Also, Pioli earned a contract extension in 2005 after being pursued by several NFL teams to become general manager.

In 2007, the Patriots finished their regular season with a 16-0 record, a first in NFL history. The team advanced to Super Bowl XLII but lost to the New York Giants 17–14 and failed to finish the season with a perfect 19–0 record. Prior to the season, Pioli executed trades to acquire wide receivers Wes Welker and Randy Moss, both of whom helped the Patriots set multiple NFL records on offense.[2]

Kansas City Chiefs[edit]

2009[edit]

After the 2008 Patriots season, Pioli was interviewed by the Cleveland Browns to replace the recently fired Phil Savage as the team's general manager.[6] Though initially seen as a long-shot, Pioli was also interviewed by the Kansas City Chiefs and was reportedly the number one candidate to succeed Carl Peterson as general manager.[7][8] The Chiefs confirmed that Pioli was hired on January 13, 2009.[9][10] Later that day, Belichick released the following statement to the press:

Pioli was introduced at a press conference in Kansas City the following day.[12] On January 23, 2009, Pioli fired Edwards.

To replace Edwards, Pioli hired Arizona Cardinals offensive coordinator Todd Haley as head coach on February 5, 2009. Pioli acquired quarterback Matt Cassel from the Patriots; Cassel had led the Patriots to an 11–5 record in 2008 after starter Tom Brady suffered a season-ending injury in Week 1. In July 2009, Pioli and the Chiefs agreed to a six-year, $62.7 million contract extension with Cassel.[13] Pioli also organized a trade with former colleague Thomas Dimitroff, later the general manager of the Atlanta Falcons, that sent longtime Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez to Atlanta in exchange for a draft pick that brought Javier Arenas to the Chiefs.

Despite the offseason moves, the Chiefs in 2009's record of 4–12 was only two games better than the franchise worst 2-14 season of 2008.

2010[edit]

Following the season, Pioli hired former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weis as offensive coordinator and former Cleveland Browns head coach Romeo Crennel as defensive coordinator; both held the same roles in New England for each of the three Super Bowl winning seasons during Pioli's tenure with the Patriots. In 2010, the Chiefs won their first AFC West division title since 2003 and completed the season 10–6. The move from worst to first in the AFC West earned him NFL Executive of the Year honors.

2011[edit]

The Chiefs were 7–9 in the 2011 season. Chiefs main passing receiver Tony Moeaki was injured in the last preseason game (against Green Bay which the Chiefs lost 20–19.[14] The Chiefs were 4–3 in Week 8 after a four-game winning streak. Matt Cassel broke his hand in Week 13 in a loss against Denver and was out for the remainder of the season. After a 37–10 loss to the New York Jets in Week 14, Pioli fired coach Haley and elevated defense coordinator Crennel to acting coach. In Week 15 the Chiefs stunned the defending Super Bowl champion Packers 19–14 in the Packers only defeat of the regular season. The Chiefs remained mathematically eligible for the AFC West championship in a weak division clear to the next to the last week of the season and they defeated the eventual AFC West winner Denver Broncos in the final game of the season.

2012[edit]

The Chiefs floundered to franchise worst 2–14 season in the 2012 giving it its first #1 pick in franchise history. The Chiefs started the season tying the 1929 record of Buffalo Bisons for most games without ever leading in regulation time (8 games).[15] Chiefs fans wore black to games and hired a plane to fly a banner over Arrowhead proclaiming "Restore Hope: Fire Pioli."[16]

On December 1, 2012 Pioli despite objections from security guards was the first person to confront Jovan Belcher when he walked to the entrance of the team's practice area adjoining Arrowhead pointing a gun at his head after Belcher had killed his girlfriend a few minutes earlier. Pioli was joined by Chiefs coach Crennel. Belcher shot himself in the head. Belcher was reported to have told Pioli, "I came here to tell you thank you...Thank you for my chance. I love you, bro." Pioli had signed Belcher has an undrafted free agent in 2009. Pioli gave a eulogy at Belcher's Kansas City funeral service.[17]

The Chiefs won the game the following day against the Carolina Panthers—the Chiefs only home game victory of the season. There were no protests on the day of the game and both Crennel and Pioli received positive comments on how they had handled the situation.

However the Chiefs won no more games for the rest of the season.

Both Crennel and Pioli were fired at the end of the season with Pioli formally being fired January 4, 2013. Cassel was also unconditionally released.[18]

The Chiefs had six players on the 2013 Pro Bowl team (Eric Berry, strong safety; Jamaal Charles, running back who set various NFL and franchise records during the season; Dustin Colquitt, punter; Tamba Hali, outside linebacker; Derrick Johnson, inside/middle linebacker); Justin Houston, outside linebacker). Berry and Hali were designated starters. Only 3 NFL teams had more Pro Bowl picks (San Francisco (9), Houston (8), New England (7). Those three teams made the playoffs.[19]

Pioli was responsible for the hiring of Cassel and his back up Brady Quinn as quarterbacks. The Chiefs had the worst record in the NFL for interceptions (20) in 2012 (Cassel threw 12 and Quinn threw 8). The Chiefs had the worst record in the NFL in offensive passing.[20][21][22]

During Pioli's term, more than half the Chiefs back office personnel left the organization including club president Denny Thum who was team president and had been with the organization since 1974.[23]

Atlanta Falcons[edit]

2014[edit]

Pioli was hired as Assistant GM of the Falcons on January 22, 2014. He is reuniting with current GM Thomas Dimitroff after previously working together for years in the Browns and Patriots organization.

Awards and honors[edit]

Pioli is the youngest and one of only three NFL executives to win the Sporting News' George Young NFL Executive of the Year Award in consecutive years, a feat he accomplished after winning the award for the second straight year following the 2004 season.[24]

On June 24, 2009, ESPN.com announced its All-Decade Moments naming Scott Pioli Personnel Man of the Decade. "No one in the league does a better job of scouting their own team, and [at the Patriots] Pioli was orchestrating all of that."[25]

2001 season[edit]

2003 season[edit]

2004 season[edit]

2007 season[edit]

2010 season[edit]

Further information: 2010 Kansas City Chiefs season

Decade (2000s)[edit]

Personal[edit]

Pioli and his wife Dallas have a daughter named Mia Costa.[2] Dallas is the daughter of former NFL head coach Bill Parcells.

He currently serves on the board of directors for various non-profit foundations including the Kansas City Repertory Theatre and College for Every Student (CFES), a national non-profit organization that partners with public schools in high-need communities to raise student aspirations and performance. Pioli has also established and endowed scholarship at his alma mater, Central Connecticut State University for students that have been named CFES Scholars.

In addition to the endowed scholarship at CCSU, Pioli has established two annual scholarships, one for the children of Chiefs employees and another at WIN for KC (Women's Intersport Network), a program designed to develop the physical and emotional well-being of girls and women through involvement in sports and fitness while providing opportunities for participation and leadership development.

Pioli served on the NFL's General Managers Advisory Committee, providing advice and counsel to the NFL Football Operations department on the integrity of the game and possible areas for improvement. He also was a member of the NFL's CEC Executive Working Group, a subcommittee of the Management Council Executive Committee, and was an Advisory Council Member of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship, helping to make the NFL a more diverse and inclusive league.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Scott Pioli joins NBC's Football Night in America; ESPN World Cup plans". CNN. 2013-06-16. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag "Scott Pioli biography". Kansas City Chiefs. Retrieved 2009-01-16. [dead link]
  3. ^ http://sports.yahoo.com/news/falcons-hire-scott-pioli-assistant-151135527--nfl.html/
  4. ^ Burt, Bill (2007-11-25). "Great Scott ... Pioli's personnel wizardry the perfect complement to Belichick's coaching genius". Lawrence Eagle-Tribune. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  5. ^ Bell, Jarrett. Piecing the Patriots together. USA Today, 2005-04-21.
  6. ^ "Report: Browns want Pioli decision soon". ESPN.com. 2009-01-01. Retrieved 2009-01-01. 
  7. ^ "Chiefs talking with Pioli about GM vacancy". SI.com. Associated Press. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2009-01-05. [dead link]
  8. ^ Schefter, Adam. "Few leaks in Chiefs' GM search". NFL.com. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
  9. ^ "Scott Pioli to join Kansas City Chiefs". ESPN.com. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-13. 
  10. ^ "Scott Pioli named Kansas City Chiefs general manager". Kansas City Chiefs. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-01-14. [dead link]
  11. ^ "Patriots issue statements on Scott Pioli". New England Patriots. 2009-01-13. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  12. ^ "Clark Hunt introduces General Manager Scott Pioli". 2009-01-14. Retrieved 2009-01-15. [dead link]
  13. ^ John Clayton (2009-07-14). "Chiefs lock up Cassel". ESPN.com. Retrieved 2009-07-15. 
  14. ^ "OTC: Has Haley Cost Chiefs Their 2011 Season W/ Preseason Foolishness?". GregHallKC. 2011-09-06. Retrieved 2013-01-06. 
  15. ^ "Kansas City Chiefs tie 83-year-old mark of shame". NFL.com. 2012-11-01. Retrieved 2012-12-22. 
  16. ^ Benson, Lisa (November 18, 2012). "Chiefs fans wear black to Sunday's game to protest season". KSHB 41 Action News. Archived from the original on December 8, 2012. Retrieved December 8, 2012. 
  17. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/04/3988337/scott-piolis-career-as-chiefs.html
  18. ^ "Chiefs fire general manager Scott Pioli". kshb.com. Retrieved 4 January 2013. 
  19. ^ "2013 Pro Bowl rosters: AFC, NFC". NFL.com. 2012-12-26. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  20. ^ "2012 NFL Team Passing Stats - National Football League - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  21. ^ "2012 NFL Player Passing Stats - National Football League - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  22. ^ Final. "Kansas City Chiefs Football Clubhouse - ESPN". Espn.go.com. Retrieved 2012-12-31. 
  23. ^ http://www.kansascity.com/2013/01/04/3994506/chiefs-gm-scott-pioli-out.html
  24. ^ Biography on Scott Pioli with history and awards Patriots.com. Accessed 27 March 2007
  25. ^ All-Decade Moments ESPN.com. Accessed 01 July 2009