Jerry Reese was hired as the General Manager of the New York Giants on January 16, 2007 and has been with the organization since 1994. In his first draft as GM of the Giants, seven of his eight picks contributed immediately and helped build the Giants into a Super Bowl team.
“As a young kid growing up in really just a farm, rural community, I really didn’t have a lot of goals. To be the general manager of the Giants was light years from my mind. I had no idea what even a general manager was at that time,” Reese shared once in an interview on NFL.com.
“All of a sudden I’m playing high school football and these strange men are coming to watch me play football and they’re talking to me and they’re talking about scholarships and I told my mom, ‘You know, some guys came to see me play and they’re talking about scholarships and I’m not even really sure what that scholarship thing is,’ so it all happened, you know, football’s been really good to me.”
Reese was on track to become the head coach at his alma mater, Tennessee-Martin and was hesitant to take a scouting job with the Giants.
“At the time I was like, you know what, I had moved up to assistant head coach and I was feeling pretty good about maybe being the head coach at Tenneesse-Martin and I was like, you know what, ‘J.D. [Jeremiah Davis, the Giants scout who offered him the job], I’m in a pretty good spot, I’m not going to leave.’ And he was like, ‘Just think about it,’ so we did think about it. My wife and I thought about it and prayed about it and, long story short, 13 years later I’m the general manager,” said Reese.
In his first year as a general manager, he was instrumental in leading the Giants to the Super Bowl with his draft choices and masterful management of the roster. He was one of only three minority general managers in the league at that time.