NFL’s Indianapolis Colts hire ex-Kansas City executive as general manager

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay is turning to another first-time general manager to get his franchise back on track.

Eight days after firing Ryan Grigson and conducting a week of interviews, Irsay hired former Kansas City Chiefs executive Chris Ballard.

The announcement came Sunday on the team’s website.

“Chris has a solid reputation throughout the National Football League as a heavyweight executive and our extensive discussions with him confirmed that reputation,” Irsay said in a statement released by the team. “He’s a savvy, organized, and thorough talent evaluator, but beyond that, he’s a terrific person our community will be proud of.”

Ballard has never previously served as a team’s top decision-maker, but he comes with a long history as a scout and front-office experience.

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 in 2015.

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. And like Grigson, the move comes after most teams had already announced offseason coaching and front office changes.

“I look forward to working with (coach) Chuck (Pagano) and his staff, the personnel staff, and all the outstanding Colts employees,” Ballard said.