Falcons assistant GM Scott Pioli stepping down

Shalise Manza YoungYahoo Sports Columnist
Yahoo Sports

Scott Pioli, who has been the Atlanta Falcons’ assistant general manager for the past five years, is stepping down from his position.

The Falcons announced the move on the team website.

‘I am ready for a change’

In a statement, Pioli said that what was supposed to be a two- or three-year partnership lasted a bit longer.

Scott Pioli is stepping down as Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager after five years with the team. (Getty Images)
Scott Pioli is stepping down as Atlanta Falcons assistant general manager after five years with the team. (Getty Images)

“After careful consideration and ongoing dialogue with Thomas [Dimitroff] over the past year I have decided to step away from my position as the assistant general manager of the Atlanta Falcons to pursue other potential opportunities,” Pioli said. “I want to thank both [Falcons owner] Arthur [Blank] and Thomas for bringing my family and I here in 2014.

“When I accepted this position more than five years ago, we all believed this would likely be a two or three-year working relationship. I came in to work closely with Thomas on personnel structure, processes and decisions. I loved the concept, was confident I could provide value and have enjoyed the challenge.

“Now, after more than five years with the Falcons, I am ready for a change. I want to thank all of my co-workers at Flowery Branch as it has truly been an honor to be a part of this organization and I am thankful to have been a part of this football team and the Falcons family.”

Longtime personnel man

The 54-year-old Pioli, a New York native who would go to New York Giants training camp practices as a college student and sidle up to then-Giants defensive coordinator Bill Belichick, joined the Falcons in 2014.

The move reunited him with Thomas Dimitroff; Dimitroff, Atlanta’s GM, and Pioli had worked together with both the Cleveland Browns and with the New England Patriots.

Pioli was the Patriots’ de facto general manager for the team’s wins in Super Bowl XXXVI, XXXVIII and XXXIX.

In 2009 he left New England for the Kansas City Chiefs, where he spent four years as general manager.

In recent years, Pioli has become an outspoken advocate for getting women into NFL scouting departments and in coaching roles; he has been a mentor to Katie Sowers, now a San Francisco 49ers assistant, and brought her to Atlanta as part of the Bill Walsh Diversity Coaching Fellowship.

Pioli, who is set to give the commencement speech at his alma mater, Central Connecticut State University, where he was a two-time All-American, is also on the board of directors of RISE — the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, founded by Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.

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