FOXBOROUGH, Mass. – The Sporting News presented Patriots Vice President of Player Personnel Scott Pioli with the NFL Executive of the Year award today at the owner's meetings in Palm Beach, Fla. Annually, NFL executives are polled by The Sporting News to select the winner. This year, Pioli received 29 of the 60 votes to become the 34th recipient of the award.
"This award is a direct reflection of the trust and support given by Robert and Jonathan Kraft," said Pioli. "I am very grateful for that. They have been tremendously supportive. The award is also a by-product of great teamwork within our organization, starting with Bill Belichick and including our assistant coaches, our players and our entire scouting staff. To be mentioned in the same group of past winners such as Bill Polian, George Young, Ron Wolf, Al Davis and Paul Brown is very humbling."
Pioli, who turns 39 tomorrow, is the youngest executive to ever receive the award. The Washingtonville, N.Y. native earned Division II honors as a defensive tackle at Central Connecticut State (1983-87). After serving two seasons as a graduate assistant at Syracuse and two seasons as an assistant coach at Murray State, Pioli left the coaching ranks to join Bill Belichick's personnel staff with the Cleveland Browns in 1992. He spent four seasons with the Browns before the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996. In 1997, he was hired by Coach Belichick as the director of pro personnel for the New York Jets. He joined the Patriots in February of 2000 and quickly implemented a philosophy shared with Coach Belichick that proved to be successful in rebuilding teams in both Cleveland and New York. In four seasons since joining the Patriots, the team has won two Super Bowl Championships. In 2001, following the franchise's first Super Bowl title, Pioli was named the NFL Executive of the Year by the Dallas Morning News.