Bears’ New Significant Hire Comes Fresh From NBA

Matt Eberflus

Getty Bears GM Ryan Poles and head coach Matt Eberflus have added eight more members to their staff.

The Chicago Bears are getting serious about analytics, announcing eight new additions to their football operations staff, including two in their football technology department and two in sports science and nutrition.

The Bears have added former Kansas City Chiefs senior data scientist Krithi Chandrakasan to be their director of football analysis and Ryan Hubley, a recent graduate of Johns Hopkins University, as their new football systems developer.

Additionally, the Bears hired former Vanderbilt director of sports nutrition Blair Hitchcock to serve in the same role, along with A.J. Lamb as a sports scientist. Lamb has spent the past 10 months serving as a performance science associate for the NBA’s Oklahoma City Thunder and is currently a PhD student at Concordia University Chicago.

Chicago also added three new members to its scouting department: Reese Hicks (West Coast), Tom Bradway (Northeast) and Ryan Cavanaugh (Midwest).

ALL the latest Bears news straight to your inbox! Subscribe to the Heavy on Bears newsletter here!

Join Heavy on Bears!

New Bears GM Ryan Poles Putting New Emphasis on Analytics

Chandrakasan and Hubley are the latest in a series of new hires in an analytics department that keeps growing due to an added emphasis on the area by first year general manager Ryan Poles.

“Definitely it’s a part of our process,” Poles said at his introductory press conference on January 31, when asked if his thoughts on analytics.

“It’s challenging what our eyes see, and I think that’s a beautiful thing about all the data we have now is we can challenge what we see and then make the proper decision based off of that,” he added. “I’ve always used the analogy: ‘I know how to get home, but I plug into Waze anyways, because it might tell me that there’s an accident two miles up the road and I can go a different direction and I can still get home in a faster time.’ Why would I not use that information? I believe in it and I’m excited to get started.”

Poles has also hired Harrison Freid to be the new director of research and analysis, along with Brent Salazar, who will serve as the team’s first-ever Clyde Emrich director of high performance. Kofi Amponsah was also added as a football support analyst and Mike Santarelli, who formerly served as Chicago’s director of football systems, was promoted to executive director of football technology.

It’s a new and somewhat encouraging development for the Bears, as previous GM Ryan Pace scaled back the team’s analytics department significantly.

Follow the Heavy on Bears Facebook page, where you can weigh in on all the latest Bears-related breaking news, rumors, content and more!

Bears Also Add Former Michigan AD

The Bears also announced the hiring of former University of Michigan associate athletic director, Sean Magee, who has worked with Wolverines head coach Jim Harbaugh over the past five years. Magee will serve as chief of staff for head coach Matt Eberflus’ coaching staff.

According to the Bears’ official website, his duties at Michigan included providing “oversight and direction for the football program in all off-field areas, including the management of the player personnel department, football operations and the administration of the budget for all football-related activity.” He also served as the school’s liaison to the NFL.

READ NEXT: Bears Sign Free Agent With Past Connection to Justin Fields