It was a move that was widely anticipated after Buddy Nix stepped down from his general manager post on Monday. So when the Bills named Doug Whaley the 12th general manager in franchise history Thursday morning it came as little surprise.
"It is with great pleasure to name Doug Whaley to the position of General Manager," said Bills President and CEO Russ Brandon. "Doug has been involved in every level of player personnel throughout his career and he will lead our efforts in re-establishing a winning tradition for this organization and our great fans."
"Doug is a passionate and committed leader who will work tirelessly with his department to build a team our fans and all of Western New York will be proud of heading into the future."
Whaley, 40, who has seen his role expand almost annually since being originally hired as Assistant GM/Director of Pro Personnel three years ago, will now run the personnel side of the Bills franchise.
The year after Whaley was hired by the Bills he was promoted to oversee all Player Personnel as his presence in College Scouting was expanded in 2011. He has had a heavy hand in putting together the team's draft board over the past two years including this year's eight-player draft class.
Whaley was also part of the four person search committee that conducted the exhaustive week long pursuit of a new head coach for the Bills in Arizona, which ultimately led the club to Doug Marrone.
This past February Whaley was also given a contract extension by the organization.
In his three short years with the Bills his track record has been solid if not exemplary. When entrusted with fortifying the roster with pro free agents, Whaley acquired offensive linemen like Kraig Urbik off the waiver wire and Chad Rinehart as a street free agent. He and Bills Special Assistant Buddy Nix also picked Scott Chandler up off waivers from Dallas and filled what was a largely vacant tight end role on the club.
"He did a great job of helping to pick players and scouting," said Bills Special Assistant Buddy Nix. "He's a level-headed mature guy and he makes the right decisions. He's very loyal and will be to the Bills for a long time."
Prior to being hired by the Bills, Whaley served 11 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers primarily as Coordinator of Pro Scouting, though he also contributed to the Steelers organization on college scouting assignments. The Steelers won two Super Bowls in Whaley's time on the Pittsburgh staff.
"Doug will be a great general manager for the Buffalo Bills," said Steelers GM Kevin Colbert. "In our time together in Pittsburgh he displayed great knowledge, work ethic, loyalty and the ability to work with others in the pursuit of a common goal."
"He had been the Director of Pro Scouting for 10 or 11 years with the Steelers and they had been successful," said Nix of his hiring of Whaley. "And he had done college scouting so he was the logical guy with experience to oversee both departments and be the Director of Player Personnel. Then once I knew Doug and his potential I made him Assistant GM."
Whaley also spent three years with the Seattle Seahawks (1996-98) as an East Coast area scout.
A Pittsburgh native, Whaley, played his college ball at Pitt where he lined up as a safety and linebacker (1990-93). He was also a state champion in football at the high school level playing for Upper St. Clair (1989).