EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Charles Way, a Giants player and executive since 1995, is leaving the organization to join the NFL office as the head of its Player Engagement Department.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to continue to advance the initiatives of the Player Engagement Department,” says Way. “I am thankful to Ernie Accorsi for envisioning the importance and significance of the role I have had with the Giants and grateful for the support of John Mara, Steve Tisch, Jerry Reese and Tom Coughlin in implementing and developing the programs we have instituted. We will continue to build on the foundation of NFL Player Engagement that has been established over the past 25 years.”
With the Giants, Way developed and managed off-field player programs, rookie orientations and player counseling and advised the players regarding career planning, educational opportunities, and team and professional requirements. He also coordinated player activities in support of the public relations and community relations programs and helped coach the team’s running backs and fullbacks. Way was also instrumental in devising new programs for the team, including leadership training, professional development and team building. He recently participated in the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace at the United Nations on the NFL’s impact on local communities around the world.
“We appreciate the contributions Charles has made here with the Giants, and we know he will bring the same commitment and energy and passion to player engagement at the league level,” Reese said. “Our players over the years have benefitted from the programs and initiatives Charles has implemented, and Charles’ concern for their well-being and his efforts to prepare them for their lives after football is one of the reasons players feel good about this organization.”
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“We wish Charles well,” Coughlin said. “He wanted to be included in everything, and I think the opportunity to include him as almost one of the football staff was beneficial. He knew what we were thinking about individual players, and he got to know the players from the time they came out of college into the professional game and as they developed professionally. Because he was able to build relationships with the players, they had great respect for him and what he was trying to achieve, and they knew that everything he did was in their best interest.”
Way joined the Giants as a sixth-round draft choice from the University of Virginia in 1995. In five seasons, the fullback rushed for 1,356 yards, caught 118 passes and scored 14 touchdowns.
At Virginia, Way was named the team’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player as a senior. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and received an honorary doctorate of humane letters degree in May 2005 from Centenary College, where he was the 2005-2006 Gates-Ferry lecturer.
Way will start in his new role later this month and be based in the NFL’s New York office.