NHL, NFL Execs to Guest Lecture in FAU Sport Analytics Class

By paul owers | 7/14/2020

Executives with the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs highlight a list of industry professionals scheduled to speak virtually on Thursdays in July to students in Florida Atlantic University’s College of Business .

Jets General Manager Kevin Cheveldayoff and Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas will be guest lecturers on July 16, in the sport analytics class in FAU’s MBA Sport Management program .

Cheveldayoff, a former player, was a first-round draft pick of the New York Islanders in 1988, while Dubas started in the industry as an agent. They will address how analytics has become part of their job descriptions and answer questions from students.

Brian MacDonald, director of sports analytics in the Stats & Information Group at ESPN, will speak to the class on July 23, along with Larry Simmons, vice president and assistant general manager of the Winnipeg Jets, and Max Erenberg, the Jets’ manager of research and data analysis. MacDonald, a former Florida Panthers executive, was also FAU’s first sport analytics professor.

A panel discussion featuring Tom Pasquali, Eugene Shen and Max Mulitz, executives with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins, and FAU Sport Management alumnus Braden Birch, the director of hockey operations and salary cap management with the Florida Panthers, will be on July 30.

Birch is the son of Jack Birch, Ph.D., the sport analytics class’ current professor and a professional scouting consultant with the NHL.

James Riordan , Ph.D., director of FAU’s Sport Management program, noted t he application of data analytics has grown dramatically over the past decade.

“Sports and entertainment entities are integral participants in this growth,” Riordan said. “In keeping with FAU MBA Sport’s practitioner-oriented learning model, we are honored to host top-flight executives from the NFL, NHL and ESPN. They will impart and advance to our students the varied concepts of sport analytics through practical application.”

These lectures are the latest in Riordan’s work to organize guest speakers to augment classroom instruction. Other sports executives and media personalities, including FOX Sports reporter and host Jenny Taft, spoke to FAU MBA Sport Management students this summer.

Kevin Cheveldayoff
Kevin Cheveldayoff, Jets General Manager
Kyle Dubas
Kyle Dubas, Maple Leafs General Manager