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NFL: Indianapolis Colts names Chris Ballard new GM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay has officially named former Kansas City Chiefs executive Chris Ballard as the team’s new general manager. He succeeds Ryan Grigson per the team’s official website.

Ballard has never previously served as a team’s top decision-maker but comes with a long history of being a scout and front-office executive. He was hired by the Chiefs in 2013 as the director of player personnel and was promoted to director of football operations under current GM John Dorsey.

Last season, the Chiefs earned the No. 2 seed in the AFC playoffs and they’ve been a consistent playoff contender despite not having a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Like Grigson, Ballard worked with coach Andy Reid. The move comes after most teams had already announced offseason coaching and front office changes. Irsay has already said he expects coach Chuck Pagano to be back next season.

Ballard was chosen from a pool of six candidates, each of whom interviewed with Irsay during the week. Ballard reportedly was brought in for a second interview this weekend.

The former University of Wisconsin football player began his front office career as an area scout with the Chicago Bears. After 12 seasons in Chicago, he was hired by the Chiefs.