Skip to main content

Simon Gelan Promoted to Senior Vice President of Operations

From left to right: Brandon Willis, Simon Gelan, and Major Woods
From left to right: Brandon Willis, Simon Gelan, and Major Woods

The country is on pins and needles every year waiting for the NFL schedule release. For Simon Gelan and the operations team, they spring into action booking hotels and travel.

Gelan is the Ravens' newly promoted senior vice president of operations and leaping into action is nothing new for him and his team. A trip to Gelan's office confirms that.

Between his desk and windows that look out onto the Ravens' practice fields is a giant whiteboard with 20 longer-term projects broken into five categories – food operations, team travel, facilities, grounds, and team services.

Then he has a red binder, where he keeps his daily schedule. Friday morning, two days after the NFL schedule was released, had 13 items.

Gelan is one of the Ravens' behind-the-scenes stars and he takes the utmost gratification from crossing items off his list and adding new projects. What's unique about his job is that he works with everyone and on just about everything. He assists players, coaches, and staff.

"I'm a support system to make sure everybody has what they need to be successful," Gelan said.

"Every day, I'm trying to think about things to move the needle and make a better experience for the players, coaches, and staff. I always say no job is too big, no job is too small. It's always about how we can support and what we can do to make things better."

When the Ravens played in London last year, Gelan and his team were instrumental in relocating the team across the Atlantic. He also helped expand the Ravens' nutrition footprint, upped the Under Armour Performance Center security with access control, and more.

Recently, the Ravens unveiled a renovated second-floor business space that Gelan helped develop and execute. On the field, he worked with the grounds crew to resod all three practice fields in time for spring practices. He has clumps of turf sitting on top of one of his shelves.

"Some of the best parts of the job are also the most challenging," Gelan said. "No day is like the next. I might be in a construction meeting this afternoon and later I might be looking over menus with our nutritionist. Every day and moment is an opportunity to see something different."

Senior Vice President of Operations Simon Gelan/Baltimore Ravens Photos
Senior Vice President of Operations Simon Gelan/Baltimore Ravens Photos

Gelan is a graduate of Morgan State with a degree in physical education and concentration in sports administration. He got his start working in the equipment room, helping all varsity sports. When Gelan found out NFL teams offered internships, he requested a media guide from every team and mailed his resume to all of them – for three years straight.

Finally, he heard back from the San Francisco 49ers and was hired there to spend the summer working in their equipment department. From that point on, he knew he wanted to be in the NFL.

This is his second stint with the Ravens (2009-2010), where he transitioned into working in operations after a brief period doing so with D.C. United in Major League Soccer. He was with the Cleveland Browns from 2010-2019 and was most recently the director of team logistics and business process liaison for the Chicago Bears.

Check out the Ravens' home away from home while they're in London.

Back with the Ravens, Gelan has a broader lens to impact more areas of the operation. He is also again close to home (he grew up in College Park, Md.) with his family: wife Lywanda and daughters Camille and Savannah. But for him, it's always about the team and others.

"It's never about me fixing it. It's about the team fixing it," Gelan said. "It's very easy for me to do my job when you have people to rely on that are some of the best at what they do.

"At the end of the day, if I can make things 1 percent better, I've done my job. If people have a great place to work and feel like they have everything they need to be successful, then I've done my job."

Related Content