Mike Grier made NHL history as the first Black general manager in the league after the San Jose Sharks named him to the post on Tuesday.
Grier, a former NHL player who played 1,060 games over 14 seasons, replaced former general manager Doug Wilson after the Sharks’ three-month search to fill the vacancy, The Mercury News reported.
Grier said during a press conference that the new role “means a lot” to him.
“It’s not something I take lightly. I realize there’s a responsibility that comes with the territory but I’m up for it,” said Grier, whose playing career included three seasons with the Sharks.
“How I carry myself and how this organization carries itself, I think we’ll do well, and hopefully, we’ll leave a footprint and open some doors for people to follow,” he added.
Grier said he was prepared for the challenge, noting he was told “he was never going to play” when he joined the team at Boston University as a walk-on.
“Put in the work. Don’t run from the challenge,” he said.
Grier’s brother, Chris Grier, has been the general manager of the NFL’s Miami Dolphins since 2016.
Chris Grier said he was happy for his brother, calling him a man of “high character and integrity,” NFL.com reported.
“He has always been respected on and off the ice by his peers,” the Dolphins manager said. “Mike will bring his work ethic and passion every day to the job. Mike understands the game, with intelligence, experience and knowledge to succeed as a [general manager].”
Mike Grier joins as general manager after Wilson, who was general manager for 19 seasons, stepped down for medical reasons, NHL.com reported.
The new general manager hopes to lead the Sharks to the Stanley Cup playoffs after they’ve missed the postseason for the past three seasons.