Hall of Fame

Hall of Fame

BBMKT-08578_-_Hall_of_Fame_Page_Headers_Polian (1)

2015 Inductee

Career Highlights

Responsible for putting together the only NFL team to go to four consecutive Super Bowls.

Brought six future Hall of Famers to Buffalo (Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Head Coach Marv Levy).

One of the most accomplished front office executives in NFL history, Bill Polian helped build multiple successful franchises during his 24 years as a general manager. In all, his teams made 17 playoff trips, eight conference championship games and five Super Bowl appearances, including winning Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts. 

Widely praised as both a top talent evaluator and influential executive, Polian is the first six time recipient of the NFL Executive of the Year award from The Sporting News and during his time in Buffalo he redesigned the franchise from a last place team in 1985 to the forefront of the league with appearances in Super Bowl XXV, Super Bowl XXVI, Super Bowl XXVII and Super Bowl XXVIII. Working alongside Owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. and Head Coach Marv Levy, Polian's eye for talent and negotiating prowess brought a bevy of outstanding players to Buffalo. In fact, of the 47 Bills at the first two Super Bowls, 45 came to Buffalo during Polian's tenure. 

His acquisitions included the 1986 signing of QB Jim Kelly from the USFL and the 1987 trade for LB Cornelius Bennett. Additional draft picks Polian made in Buffalo included DE Bruce Smith, OT Will Wolford, RB Thurman Thomas and WR Andre Reed. He built a team that would reverse the Bills record from 8-40 from 1984-86 to a 58-22 mark from 1988-92. During his time in Buffalo, 13 Bills drafted or obtained by Polian made a total of 49 Pro Bowl appearances. In all, Polian brought in five players who would end up in the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Jim Kelly, James Lofton, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas), as well as Head Coach Marv Levy.