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Gettleman Named Sporting News' Executive Of The Year

Posted Mar 21, 2016

General manager Dave Gettleman honored by fellow league executives following Panthers' NFC Championship season.

General manager Dave Gettleman has been named Sporting News' 2015 NFL executive of the year.

Gettleman, who was voted recipient of the honor by fellow league executives, built the best team in Carolina history.

"It's humbling, It's a blessing. I really believe this is truly an organizational award," Gettleman told Vinnie Iyer of the Sporitng News.

The Panthers, who started 14-0, won a franchise-record 15 games and scored the most points in the NFL. As the conference’s top seed, they won the NFC Championship and advanced to Super Bowl 50.

Ten Panthers earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2015 – the most in the NFL and the most in franchise history.

Since he arrived in 2013, Gettleman’s meticulous evaluation process has led to successful selections in the draft and cost-effective additions via free agency.

"It's really having a clear understanding of what the coaches are looking for, and what our offensive and defensive schemes require," Gettleman told Sporting News. "Evaluating players, there's nothing fancy about it. There's no magical pixie dust. It's sitting in the room, grinding away and finding those gems."

Some notable draft choices include defensive tackle Star Lotulelei (first round, 2013), Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short (second round, 2013), wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (first round 2014), defensive end Kony Ealy (second round 2014), Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner (third round 2014), linebacker Shaq Thompson (first round 2015) and wide receiver Devin Funchess (second round 2015).

Some notable free agent signings include safety Kurt Coleman, who recorded nine interceptions (including postseason) in 2015; left tackle Michael Oher, who rebounded from an injury-riddled year to become Carolina’s rock-solid starter at left tackle; and wide receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., who has caught 15 of his 21 career touchdowns in two seasons with the Panthers.