Moneyball Comes to Nebraska Athletics

Football

Nebraska MoneyballIf you enjoyed Moneyball (and, yes, I liked it before Brad Pitt’s adaptation on the big screen) you may be in favor of Nebraska’s latest move: hiring a Director of Sports Analytics and Data Analysis.

According to a press release issued by Nebraska, Tucker Zeleny, a recent PhD grad from Nebraska, will don that title going forward. Zeleny is a Nebraska graduate, completing his doctorate in statistics this past May. His dissertation focused on weigh lifting data collected by the Husker football team.

Zeleny will head a new department within the Huskers’ athletic department, which will work with all 24 of Nebraska’s sports to “collect, analyze and summarize data related to team and individual performance.” The team will also spend some time collecting data and analyzing it in relation to how the athletic department operates as a whole.

“I am excited that Tucker has joined the athletic department and will be leading this newly created department,” said Steve Waterfield, Senior Associate Athletic Director for Performance and Strategic Research. “I have been impressed not only with Tucker’s analytical skills, but also with his ability to apply these skills in a practical, effective manner that gives Husker sports teams a competitive advantage.  Our sports teams and departments stand to benefit significantly from the information Tucker and his staff will provide.”

“I’m very excited to be joining the athletic department,” Zeleny said. “Sports analytics is becoming a hot area. There is a ton of data out there right now and with new sport technology being made available seemingly every day, there will only be more. Any additional information or advantage we can provide to the various coaching staffs, and to the department in general, is a huge positive.”

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