Following Cleveland’s 38-15 throttling by the New England Patriots on Sunday, the Browns have made key additions to fix their problems. Seth Walder, sports analytics writer for ESPN, tweeted, “Browns are hiring two new analysts, Brenan Latimer and Austin Grosel, per source.”
Suffice to say, Browns’ fans aren’t happy. Many fans are hoping these two analysts can also play defensive tackle, cover a pass and make an open-field tackle. Sadly, they can’t, or at least won’t be asked to do so, So why did the Browns hire these two analysts?
First, Brenan Latimer is the CEO of The Future Of Us, which is a nonprofit that strives to bring a collegiate influence to communities that lack opportunity, wealth, and structure in education. Latimer expands on this, saying, “We look to help students in underfunded communities overcome their systematic predisposition to failure by changing expectations, encouraging, and investing into their future” (Thefouscholarship.com).
I believe the Browns are interested in Latimer’s process for identifying candidates who were deserving of scholarship opportunities. Latimer explains some of that process on The Future of Us site, “Rather than using test scores and class rankings as ways to disproportionately distribute college funding we use interviews and outreach to evaluate our candidates. We invest in merits, not metrics.”
Second, Austin Grosel is the Lead Data Scientist at Abercrombie & Fitch Co. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and Engineering from The Ohio State University and a Master’s degree in Predictive Analytics from DePaul University.
Grosel does have a small background in sports analytics. He was an analytics specialist with the Orlando Magic, where he researched and created scouting reports for draft-eligible prospects.
Although there is not a plethora of information on these two hires, it seems that they will be analysts for the Browns’ scouting department rather than in-game analytics specialists.