Giants Hire African American GM

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The New York Giants hired Jerry Reese as their general manager, making him only the third black GM in NFL history.

Reese, who served as the team's director of player personnel the past 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.

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 past 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.

(The Associated Press News Service)


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