Bears hire Emery as general manager
A former area scout for the Bears, Phil Emery was named Saturday as the team's fifth general manager in franchise history.
Emery, 53, spent the past three seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs' director of college scouting, and some of the draft picks that he recommended were key players in helping the Chiefs to the AFC West title in 2010.
Emery was a scout for the Bears from 1998-2004. During that time the Bears drafted nine Pro Bowl players, including wide receiver Marty Booker (third round, 1999), return specialist Jerry Azumah (fifth round, 1999), linebacker Brian Urlacher (first round, 2000), safety Mike Brown (second round, 2000), cornerback Charles Tillman (second round, 2003), linebacker Lance Briggs (third round, 2003), defensive tackle Tommie Harris (first round, 2004) and cornerback Nathan Vasher (fourth round, 2004). Many of those players were instrumental in the Bears' 13-3 2001 NFC Central title and their Super Bowl XLI appearance in 2006.
Urlacher has made the Pro Bowl eight times, and Briggs has gone to seven straight, while Harris was chosen three times.
From 2004-07, Emery was the director of college scouting for the Atlanta Falcons. During that time, two of the three Falcons first-round draft picks developed into Pro Bowlers: wide receiver Roddy White (2005) and quarterback Matt Ryan (2008). He also worked as a regional scout for the Falcons leading up to the 2009 draft before taking the Chiefs' job. The Falcons made two trips to the playoffs during that time including an appearance in the 2004 NFC championship game.
Emery, a Michigan native, is a 14-year veteran of the NFL. Before then, he was as the director of strength and conditioning services and an associate professor at the U.S. Naval Academy (1991-98). At the Naval Academy, Emery was responsible for the development, administration and supervision of all strength and conditioning activities for 4,000 Midshipmen.
Emery began his coaching career as a student assistant at his alma mater, Wayne State, in 1980.
The Bears will hold a news conference to introduce Emery Monday afternoon in the Mugs Halas Auditorium at Halas Hall. George "Mugs" Halas, the son of team founder George S. Halas, was the team's first general manager. He was followed by Jim Finks, Jerry Vainisi and Jerry Angelo.
Emery was one of five candidates to interview for the position that had been vacant since Angelo was fired on Jan. 3 after 11 years. The other candidates who interviewed were New England Patriots director of pro personnel Jason Licht, who was the other finalist for the job, San Diego Chargers director of player personnel Jimmy Raye III, New York Giants director of college scouting Marc Ross, and Bears director of player personnel Tim Ruskell.