Staff

Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO


As the Colts approach their 30th season in Indianapolis, fans around the globe will be focused on “what’s next” for one of the top teams in the NFL. It’s a team that has flourished under the leadership of Jim Irsay, As the Colts approach their 30th season in Indianapolis, fans around the globe will be focused on “what’s next” for one of the top teams in the NFL. It’s a team that has flourished under the leadership of Jim Irsay, a second generation owner whose roots are steadfastly planted in NFL traditions.

Jim Irsay grew up with the Colts. His father, Robert, acquired the team when Jim was 13 years old. There’s sincere sentiment when Irsay talks about those years of living with the team during summer camp, watching every game and riding the team bus. After he graduated from SMU with a degree in broadcast journalism, he joined the franchise and worked in virtually every area, from ticket sales to public relations to football operations. When the Colts arrived in 1984, Irsay was named general manager, the youngest to ever hold that job at age 24.

“Those years were tough and I took a lot of criticism, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Irsay. “I learned early that working your way through adversity can be the best way to become a better manager, leader and owner.”

When Irsay took over as owner in 1997, he began to implement his plan to build a winning team. To Colts fans around the world, the celebration was spectacular when, to Indiana’s great delight, that plan worked. Just 10 years later, the Indianapolis Colts brought home the team’s fourth world championship and the Lombardi Trophy with a Super Bowl XLI victory.

As other NFL teams have learned, it’s not easy to sustain a winning franchise. Despite the fact that the Colts made it to a second Super Bowl during the 2009 season, Irsay knew it was time to make a change following a disappointing 2-14 year in 2011. He hired Ryan Grigson as the team’s general manager and Chuck Pagano as the head coach. The chemistry of this duo, matched by the dynamic coaching staff they assembled and the players they recruited were just what was needed for a turnaround.

As the Colts approached the 2012 campaign, Grigson and Pagano built a team led by the No. 1 overall draft pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. With new talent from the draft and free agency, combined with record-setting veterans, the Colts were ready to show fans a new level of play and energy.

What no one expected was the news that broke just three games into the regular season. Coach Pagano had been diagnosed with leukemia and was undergoing treatment at the IU Simon Cancer Center. The team, community and country rallied behind Coach Pagano and his eventual return to the field in the regular season finale. The Colts recorded an 11-5 record and reached the AFC Playoffs. The nine-win improvement from the 2011 season is tied for the third-largest in NFL history.

The 2013 campaign promises to be another exciting season. While the 2012 draft produced skill position players, this year’s draft for the Colts focused on what Ryan Grigson calls the “trench players.” But it wasn’t just the draft that filled out the roster. The Colts were incredibly active in the free agency and added 10 players who bring a wealth of veteran leadership. With that in mind, Irsay and the Colts always keep one goal in mind: Give Colts fans the best possible season.

This year also marks the team’s sixth season at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of America's finest sports venues. All eyes were focused on the City of Indianapolis and the stadium when Super Bowl XLVI came to town. Largely regarded as one of the most successful Super Bowls ever, the event also generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact, not to mention the worldwide exposure for the City and State.

A hallmark of Jim Irsay's tenure of stewardship was the 2006 season, when the Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI, with a 29-17 victory over Chicago. Following its triumphant title return, the team was welcomed by a raucous crowd lining downtown streets and filling the RCA Dome. Irsay responded by sending the Lombardi Trophy on a tour throughout Indiana. The 50-stop, 3,130-mile tour gave fans an opportunity to see, touch and have pictures taken with the trophy. That fall, he created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to compete for one of five authentic Super Bowl rings. The effort raised more than $225,000 for charity and entertained thousands who witnessed the 10 finalists take their chance to pick one of five treasure chests that contained a ring inscribed with, 'Colts Fan.'

An active and participating owner, Irsay chairs the league's Legislative Committee and serves on both the Finance Committee and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee. He also has served on the Executive Committee of the Management Council and the Pro-College Relations Committee. Additionally, Irsay was a member of the Realignment Working Group and the Working Club Executive Committee that authored the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1993.

Irsay and his wife, Meg, oversee the team’s extensive contributions program. In their home city and state, the Irsays are active supporters for programs that address health and wellness, community development, cancer research and the arts.

Although football has been the focus of Irsay’s professional life, he is a music aficionado who collects rare guitars (including Jerry Garcia's Tiger and one of George Harrison's guitars) and an Americana fan who collects rare historical documents, including Jack Kerouac's original manuscript of On the Road.

Jim and Meg have three daughters, Carlie Irsay Gordon, Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay, as well as five grandchildren. All three daughters represent the next generation of ownership for the Indianapolis Colts as each was promoted to the position of vice chair/owner in March of 2012.

In reflecting on the organization at this point in time, Jim Irsay says, “I could not be prouder of our franchise. Both the football side and the front office have never worked better together. Our fans, far and near, will witness and enjoy many years of success on and off the field. We have the best fans in the NFL and our goal is to resume our position as one of the most consistently “best” teams in the league.”

Jim Irsay, Owner and CEO


As the Colts approach their 30th season in Indianapolis, fans around the globe will be focused on “what’s next” for one of the top teams in the NFL. It’s a team that has flourished under the leadership of Jim Irsay, As the Colts approach their 30th season in Indianapolis, fans around the globe will be focused on “what’s next” for one of the top teams in the NFL. It’s a team that has flourished under the leadership of Jim Irsay, a second generation owner whose roots are steadfastly planted in NFL traditions.

Jim Irsay grew up with the Colts. His father, Robert, acquired the team when Jim was 13 years old. There’s sincere sentiment when Irsay talks about those years of living with the team during summer camp, watching every game and riding the team bus. After he graduated from SMU with a degree in broadcast journalism, he joined the franchise and worked in virtually every area, from ticket sales to public relations to football operations. When the Colts arrived in 1984, Irsay was named general manager, the youngest to ever hold that job at age 24.

“Those years were tough and I took a lot of criticism, but I wouldn’t change it for anything,” said Irsay. “I learned early that working your way through adversity can be the best way to become a better manager, leader and owner.”

When Irsay took over as owner in 1997, he began to implement his plan to build a winning team. To Colts fans around the world, the celebration was spectacular when, to Indiana’s great delight, that plan worked. Just 10 years later, the Indianapolis Colts brought home the team’s fourth world championship and the Lombardi Trophy with a Super Bowl XLI victory.

As other NFL teams have learned, it’s not easy to sustain a winning franchise. Despite the fact that the Colts made it to a second Super Bowl during the 2009 season, Irsay knew it was time to make a change following a disappointing 2-14 year in 2011. He hired Ryan Grigson as the team’s general manager and Chuck Pagano as the head coach. The chemistry of this duo, matched by the dynamic coaching staff they assembled and the players they recruited were just what was needed for a turnaround.

As the Colts approached the 2012 campaign, Grigson and Pagano built a team led by the No. 1 overall draft pick, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck. With new talent from the draft and free agency, combined with record-setting veterans, the Colts were ready to show fans a new level of play and energy.

What no one expected was the news that broke just three games into the regular season. Coach Pagano had been diagnosed with leukemia and was undergoing treatment at the IU Simon Cancer Center. The team, community and country rallied behind Coach Pagano and his eventual return to the field in the regular season finale. The Colts recorded an 11-5 record and reached the AFC Playoffs. The nine-win improvement from the 2011 season is tied for the third-largest in NFL history.

The 2013 campaign promises to be another exciting season. While the 2012 draft produced skill position players, this year’s draft for the Colts focused on what Ryan Grigson calls the “trench players.” But it wasn’t just the draft that filled out the roster. The Colts were incredibly active in the free agency and added 10 players who bring a wealth of veteran leadership. With that in mind, Irsay and the Colts always keep one goal in mind: Give Colts fans the best possible season.

This year also marks the team’s sixth season at Lucas Oil Stadium, one of America's finest sports venues. All eyes were focused on the City of Indianapolis and the stadium when Super Bowl XLVI came to town. Largely regarded as one of the most successful Super Bowls ever, the event also generated hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact, not to mention the worldwide exposure for the City and State.

A hallmark of Jim Irsay's tenure of stewardship was the 2006 season, when the Indianapolis Colts won Super Bowl XLI, with a 29-17 victory over Chicago. Following its triumphant title return, the team was welcomed by a raucous crowd lining downtown streets and filling the RCA Dome. Irsay responded by sending the Lombardi Trophy on a tour throughout Indiana. The 50-stop, 3,130-mile tour gave fans an opportunity to see, touch and have pictures taken with the trophy. That fall, he created a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for fans to compete for one of five authentic Super Bowl rings. The effort raised more than $225,000 for charity and entertained thousands who witnessed the 10 finalists take their chance to pick one of five treasure chests that contained a ring inscribed with, 'Colts Fan.'

An active and participating owner, Irsay chairs the league's Legislative Committee and serves on both the Finance Committee and the Super Bowl Advisory Committee. He also has served on the Executive Committee of the Management Council and the Pro-College Relations Committee. Additionally, Irsay was a member of the Realignment Working Group and the Working Club Executive Committee that authored the NFL's Collective Bargaining Agreement in 1993.

Irsay and his wife, Meg, oversee the team’s extensive contributions program. In their home city and state, the Irsays are active supporters for programs that address health and wellness, community development, cancer research and the arts.

Although football has been the focus of Irsay’s professional life, he is a music aficionado who collects rare guitars (including Jerry Garcia's Tiger and one of George Harrison's guitars) and an Americana fan who collects rare historical documents, including Jack Kerouac's original manuscript of On the Road.

Jim and Meg have three daughters, Carlie Irsay Gordon, Casey Foyt and Kalen Irsay, as well as five grandchildren. All three daughters represent the next generation of ownership for the Indianapolis Colts as each was promoted to the position of vice chair/owner in March of 2012.

In reflecting on the organization at this point in time, Jim Irsay says, “I could not be prouder of our franchise. Both the football side and the front office have never worked better together. Our fans, far and near, will witness and enjoy many years of success on and off the field. We have the best fans in the NFL and our goal is to resume our position as one of the most consistently “best” teams in the league.”