Earlier in the fall semester, the Sports Analytics Club at the Haslam College of Business held its second annual Sports Analytics Conference. About 100 students attended a roundtable question and answer session with panelists from across the country and the athletics industry.
“These students were very bright, and had great questions.” said Hao Meng, director of basketball strategy and analytics for the NBA and one of the conference’s panelists. “They were not afraid of tougher questions. They all seemed very passionate, and you could tell that they were willing to do what it takes to work in the industry.”
Other panelists included:
- Arri Landsman-Roos, director of analytics for the Jacksonville Jaguars
- Ralph and Karen Weekly, co-head coaches for UT softball
- Greg Adamson, assistant strength and conditioning coach for UT Athletics
- Chris Groer, senior vice president of routing and optimization at MapAnything.
The panelists explained the different ways they use data to create game schedules, make games more entertaining, prevent injuries and assess recruits. Meng talked about running statistical models focusing on initiatives to change game structure or rules to help make the court more competitively balanced.
“In today’s sports world, the reliance only on ‘gut feeling’ is certainly less prevalent than an approach which also incorporates what the data and numbers tell you as part of the overall story,” Meng said.
Officers from the Sports Analytics Club organized the event, recruiting each of the panelists to speak. Participants included student from across the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, campus, with a large cohort from Haslam’s business analytics programs.
Interested students can join the Sports Analytics Club at https://utk.campuslabs.com/engage/organization/SAC.