EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Joe Schoen last week was the first of nine candidates to interview for the Giants' general manager position and this week is the last man standing.
The Giants announced that Schoen will head their football operations. He has spent the last five seasons as the Buffalo Bills' assistant general manager.
"We are pleased and proud to name Joe as our general manager," said Giants president John Mara. "Throughout our search, Joe impressed us with his ability to communicate a progressive and comprehensive vision for our team. His philosophy and collaborative approach to building a roster and coaching staff align with what we were looking for in a general manager."
Schoen, 42, is just the Giants' fifth general manager since 1979 when Pro Football Hall of Famer George Young was hired. He was succeeded in 1998 by his assistant, Ernie Accorsi, who is in the franchise's Ring of Honor. Jerry Reese took over in 2007, the year he presided over the first of two Super Bowl victories. Dave Gettleman was the G.M. for four seasons before announcing his retirement on Jan. 10.
Kevin Abrams, the team's assistant general manager for 20 years, was the interim G.M. for the final four games of the 2017 season.
"Joe is the kind of exceptional leader we sought to oversee our football operations," said chairman Steve Tisch. "We will do whatever it takes to support Joe's vision and strategic plan for success. We are excited to begin this next chapter with Joe as our general manager."
Schoen first spoke with Mara, Tisch and senior vice president of player personnel Chris Mara on January 12 by videoconference. The initial interviews with all nine candidates were conducted remotely.
On Tuesday, Schoen visited the Giants' headquarters, the Quest Diagnostics Training Center, where he met in person with the three executives as well as other members of the team's front office and toured the facility.
"Steve and I were both impressed with all nine candidates," said John Mara. "We came away from this process feeling like all nine will be a general manager in this league at some point. We just felt like Joe was the right fit at the right time for us."
Since joining the Bills in 2017, Schoen – pronounced "Shane" - has teamed with general manager Brandon Beane to make Buffalo a regular postseason participant and current championship contender. The Bills, who won their second straight AFC East title this season, visit Kansas City Sunday for a divisional playoff game.
"It is an honor to accept the position of general manager of the New York Giants," said Schoen. "I want to thank John Mara and Steve Tisch and their families for this tremendous opportunity. And obviously I am grateful to Brandon and the Bills for the experience I have had in Buffalo.
"Now, the work begins. My immediate focus is to hire a head coach, with who I will work in lockstep with to create a collaborative environment for our football operations. We will cast a wide net, it can be former head coaches, first-time head coaches but, more importantly, it has to be a person who possesses the ability to lead an organization and the ability to motivate and develop players. On the personnel side, we will begin to evaluate our roster and prepare for the draft and free agency. Our goal is to build a roster that will be competitive, have depth, and most importantly, win football games."
Since Schoen became Beane's top associate and they hired coach Sean McDermott, Buffalo has earned a postseason berth in four of five seasons, advanced to the 2020 AFC Championship Game and usurped six-time Super Bowl champion New England as the AFC East's best team. Before their arrival in upstate New York, the Bills failed to make the playoffs for 17 consecutive seasons.
Beane and Schoen have acquired the large majority of the players that have fueled Buffalo's successful run, including quarterback Josh Allen, wide receiver Stefon Diggs, running back Devin Singletary, tight end Dawson Knox, linebacker Tremaine Edmonds and safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer.
Schoen has 20 years of scouting and executive experience in the NFL. Prior to moving to Buffalo, he spent most of the previous decade in the Miami Dolphins' front office, including the last four years as the team's director of player personnel.
Schoen's first year in Miami was 2008, when he began a five-year stint as one of the Dolphins' national scouts. In the first three of those years, he worked under Giants two-time Super Bowl-winning coach and Hall of Famer Bill Parcells, then the team's executive vice president of football operations.
In 2013, Schoen became the Dolphins' assistant director of college scouting. He led Miami's preparation, assessment and acquisition of potential professional and collegiate free agents. Schoen was heavily involved in Miami's NFL draft preparations, including evaluation and draft board construction while also serving as a key liaison between the coaching staff and personnel staff.
Schoen's first NFL job was as a ticket office intern with the Carolina Panthers in 2000. He then spent seven seasons (2001-07) working for the Panthers under Beane, first as a scouting assistant and then as a southeast and southwest scout.
A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Schoen graduated from DePauw University in 2001 with a communications degree. He was a quarterback as a freshman and wide receiver his final three years, serving as a captain during his senior season.