Bears' search committee: Who is hiring head coach, GM


The Chicago Bears made some big moves on Black Monday, firing head coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace.

Now the Bears face the tough task of hiring both roles simultaneously, when typically a general manager hires a head coach. It creates a challenging situation for the Bears.

So if there is no general manager to hire a coach, who is? Here is the Bears' search committee.

George McCaskey

Depending on which question he was asked, McCaskey is either ownership or an employee with the support of ownership.

He currently is the Bears' chairman and the person the future general manager will report to.

He took over as the chairman for the Bears before the 2011 season and has overseen the team for the past 11 seasons. In that time span, the Bears won a single NFC North Championship, lost two playoff games. He's also hired two general managers and three coaches already. He famously hired Phil Emery and Marc Trestman, which was disastrous.

He then hired Ryan Pace and John Fox to be the general manager and head coach, respectively. Fox wasn't Pace's choice according to various reports.

And now McCaksey will be heading up his third GM search and fourth GM search in 10 years. 

When pressed on his record, McCaskey said: "My performance is reviewed by ownership and the board of directors and ownership has informed me that it wishes me to continue in this role."

Of course the board consists of his mother and five other McCaskeys, so not exactly a group holding his feet to the fire. Not to mention Ted Phillips.

Ted Phillips

A lot of McCaskey's record can be copy and pasted into Ted Phillips' section. Phillips was named CEO in 1999 and at least oversaw an era of Bears football that included a Super Bowl appearance.

But also the Bears have made the playoffs six times in his 23-year tenure.

When our own Adam Hoge pressed McCaskey on why Phillips is still involved.

"Because I trust Ted implicitly," McCaskey said. "Because I have great respect for his judgment, his analytical skills, and his instincts when it comes to the people that we're interviewing.

"And in the end, he'll be negotiating the contract with the general manager and the head coach."

Bill Polian

Noted author Bill Polian has also been brought in to help with the search. Polian brings some instant credibility to the search committee as a Hall of Fame executive, hopefully enough to sway McCaskey and Phillips.

Polian served as the general manager of the Buffalo Bills during the first part of their four consecutive Super Bowl trips in the early 1990s. He served as the Panthers first general manager and helped the franchise reach an NFC Championship game in just its second season. In 1998, Polian left to become general manager and eventually team president for the Indianapolis Colts, winning a Super Bowl with Peyton Manning.

Polian is also a six-time NFL Executive of the Year.

He's hired notable head coaches like Tony Dungy, Jim Caldwell and Marv Levy. Dungy and Levy are also in the Hall of Fame.

"He's well regarded in league circles and has a lot of context," McCaksey said. "We consider ourselves very fortunate to have Bill assisting us in our search."

The one recent criticism of Polian is his infamous take on quarterback Lamar Jackson, suggesting he play wide receiver in the NFL instead of quarterback. Jackson went on to win the NFL MVP award while playing quarterback for the Baltimore Ravens.

Polian acknowledged he was wrong in that assessment.

Seriously, did you know Polian wrote a book? He's actually written two.

Lamar 'Soup' Campbell

Campbell is the vice president of player engagement. Campbell will be one of two voices on the committee offering a younger perspective. Campbell is obviously connected to Bears players, current and former, and can speak to which candidates will meet the current roster's needs.

"'Soup' Campbell is on board to offer his perspective on the candidates, including and especially how will our players respond to this candidate as our leader," McCaskey said.

Tanesha Wade

Wade is the Bears' senior vice president of diversity, equity and inclusion. Wade is the second voice on the committee offering a younger perspective while ensuring diversity will be a integral part of the process. 

"She is involved in all of our hiring. These are the most significant hires we make," McCaskey said. "Diversity is a critical part of the process. We are committed to providing a fair opportunity throughout the process to people of color."

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