|Born:||February 17, 1977|
Flower Mound, Texas
|Height:||6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
|Weight:||250 lb (113 kg)|
|High school:||Marcus HS (Flower Mound, TX)|
|As an executive:|
|Career highlights and awards|
Pace played linebacker at Edward S. Marcus High School before committing to Eastern Illinois in 1995; he had also received offers from Illinois State, North Texas, Texas State, and Western Illinois. EIU offensive line coach and recruiting coordinator Clancy Barone praised Pace for his speed and athleticism, saying he "showed good toughness on film."
At EIU, he converted to defensive end and played for the Panthers from 1996 to 1999; despite entering college at 200 pounds (91 kg), he increased his weight to 250 lb (110 kg) by his senior year. In 1998, he led the team in tackles for loss (nine) and fumble recoveries (three). He received his degree in marketing.
After not gaining any opportunities as a player, Pace was hired by the New Orleans Saints in 2001 as a coaching intern. Six years later, Pace became the director of pro personnel, and in 2013, became the director of player personnel.
In 2015, Pace was offered an interview for the general manager position by the New York Jets, but declined. He was later interviewed by the Chicago Bears for the general manager position on January 7, and was hired the next day. At 37 years of age at the time of his hiring, Pace was the youngest general manager in the NFL. To replace the fired Marc Trestman, Pace hired John Fox as the Bears' head coach. Pace's first draft as Bears general manager, the 2015 NFL Draft, saw him select Kevin White in the first round. After a 3–13 season in 2016 that gave the Bears the third-overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Pace moved up a spot in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers to draft quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. In Pace's first three years and the stretch of Fox's tenure, the Bears went 14–34, leading to Fox's firing after the 2017 season.
After Fox's firing, Pace hired Matt Nagy as Chicago's next head coach in 2018. Before the season, the Bears traded their 2019 and 2020 1st round draft picks for star Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Khalil Mack and made him the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history. That year, the Bears went 12–4 to win the NFC North for the first time since 2010, while Eddie Jackson and Tarik Cohen, two fourth-round picks Pace made in 2017, were named All-Pro. Mitchell Trubisky was named a Pro Bowler in 2017 as well. Pace was eventually named Executive of the Year by the Sporting News, becoming the third Bears general manager to win the award after George Halas in 1956 and Michael McCaskey in 1985.
He and his wife Stephanie have one daughter together.
- Nielsen, Brian (April 5, 1995). "EIU signs one player from academy, might get another". Times-Courier (Mattoon, Illinois). Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Former EIU Player Ryan Pace Named Bears GM". Eastern Illinois Panthers. January 8, 2015. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Nielsen, Brian (October 30, 1999). "EIU lineman improving at a rapid Pace". Times-Courier (Mattoon, Illinois). Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "EIU Football History" (PDF). Eastern Illinois Panthers. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- Nielsen, Brian (October 13, 2001). "Former Panther enjoying life in the NFL's other side". Times-Courier (Mattoon, Illinois). Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Dickerson, Jeff (January 7, 2015). "Potential GMs Chris Ballard, Ryan Pace visit Bears". ESPN. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Biggs, Brad; Campbell, Rich; Wiederer, Dan (January 8, 2015). "Bears hire Ryan Pace as general manager". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 8, 2015.
- Mayer, Larry (January 9, 2015). "Pace considers Bears a perfect fit". Chicago Bears. Retrieved January 9, 2015.
- Wright, Michael C. (January 16, 2015). "Bears hire John Fox as coach". ESPN. Retrieved January 16, 2015.
- Neveau, James (May 2, 2015). "NFL Draft: Grading Ryan Pace's First Performance as G.M." WMAQ-TV. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Stankevitz, JJ (April 27, 2017). "Bears trade up and get their quarterback: North Carolina's Mitchell Trubisky". NBC Sports. Retrieved April 28, 2020.
- Patra, Kevin (January 1, 2018). "Chicago Bears fire coach John Fox after 5-11 season". National Football League. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2018.
- Biggs, Brad (January 8, 2018). "Bears hire Matt Nagy as franchise's 16th head coach". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 8, 2018.
- "Bears acquire Khalil Mack from Raiders, reach $141M extension". ESPN. September 2, 2018. Retrieved September 4, 2018.
- Ellis, Cam (March 25, 2019). "GM Ryan Pace named Sporting News' Executive of the Year, first Bears GM to win since 1985". NBC Sports Chicago. Retrieved March 29, 2019.
- Nielsen, Brian (July 31, 1999). "McElroy ready to go with Colts". Times-Courier (Mattoon, Illinois). Retrieved January 14, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
A week before the Ohio Valley Conference media day, Eastern's football press guides have arrived. [...] [S]enior defensive end Ryan Pace's grandfather played for the Washington Senators[.]
- "Bears GM Ryan Pace: Day One". Chicago Bears. January 9, 2015. Retrieved January 9, 2015.