Meet The Nerds
Co-Founder & CEO
Tom's interest in the statistical side of sports sprouted back in the late 1980s, when he spent his days as a Strat-O-Matic Fanatic and his nights trying to get Euler to pitch a perfect game on the Commodore 64. After ditching the frigid climes of Boston for sunny California, he earned a BS and MS in Management Science and Engineering from Stanford. Serving as a Resident Assistant in Branner Hall during his junior year, Tom’s job was to discourage unsupervised 18 year olds such as Matt Koidin and Mike Greenfield from engaging in Animal House like behavior. Mike was not a problem.
After work stints at a couple of crash-and-burn Silicon Valley startups (fantastic learning experiences, albeit less fulfilling than being employee #5 at Facebook...), Capital One Financial, and Stanford Business School, Tom ran into Mike outside the Palo Alto post office one day in late 2004. He soon asked the fateful question, “So what the heck ever happened to that sports web site of yours?” Tom now runs the day to day operations of TeamRankings.com, although from a new home base in Memphis. Although he does most anything except write code, Tom is primarily responsible for product strategy, marketing and media relations, and business development.
Founder & Numbers Guy
Mike started building quantitative sports power ratings in 1997 at the tender age of 19. After teaching himself enough programming to build a basic web site, he launched the original TeamRankings.com from his Stanford dorm room in 2000. The site set a new standard in incredibly slick web design. Years before the world knew what Moneyball was, Mike’s ratings and analysis soon achieved national prominence, especially in college basketball. In March 2001, Sports Illustrated profiled Mike in a feature on March Madness.
After a numbers-obsessed youth in which he memorized 36 significant digits of Pi, Mike broke west from Philly to earn a BS degree in Mathematical and Computational Science from Stanford. He has deployed his analytical talents at Internet companies including PayPal and LinkedIn, and he most recently co-founded Circle of Moms, a social network for mothers with over six million users. Today, Mike primarily advises TR in the areas of analytics and strategy, but still does hands-on work refining models and building functionality.
David's earliest nerd cred, besides an irrational love for sweat pants, was probably mastering ten key typing in the sixth grade. This proficiency developed because he, like Tom, was a Hardball aficionado, although David had the far superior PC version. He spent a good portion of his youth entering custom baseball player stats into the game with his brother, until a further epiphany -- winning his Dad’s NCAA tournament bracket pool at age 12 -- made him realize that you could actually make money via sports knowledge.
After undergrad years at Johns Hopkins, David went on to earn his MS in neuroscience at NYU, during which time he co-founded the now defunct HackTheBracket.com. While working as a data analyst for tech company Inuvo, he started the college basketball blog The Audacity Of Hoops in his spare time. His blogging caught the eye of the Team Rankings crew, who happened to make contact with him just after a cross-country move to San Diego. Today, David is a quantitative jack of all trades at TR, creating and refining models, doing ad-hoc analysis, writing several columns and editing the blog, and also running various operations such as customer relations.
Partner & Technical Adviser
Matt is the token hard core general sports fan of TeamRankings.com. While his peers are delightfully geeking out over prediction model hypothesis testing and optimization, Matt somehow finds the time to do oddly normal things like read sports sites, watch SportsCenter, and attend sporting events just for the fun of it. He actually knows who the Patriots drafted this year and whether the Red Sox won last night. He also plays in five fantasy football leagues, so Tom and Mike don’t have to feel bad about playing in none.
Like Tom, Matt fled the Boston area for Palo Alto, although over the years he has done a much better job of maintaining his Beantown sports cred. After graduating from Stanford with a BS in Computer Science, Matt co-founded Justarrive, the first e-ticketing platform for college and professional sports teams. He went on to earn his MBA from Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and served as a Manager in the Strategy and Operations group of Deloitte Consulting. Today, Matt advises Team Rankings on technical architecture related decisions and also gets his hands dirty in a variety of coding and site operations related projects. Outside of TR, he is CTO at Read It Later, a platform for shifting content between the web and various consumer devices.
Growing up as a child of the BCS era, Austin spent his formative years calculating BCS formulas for college football. When he took a class entitled “The Math of Sports” during his sophomore year at Stanford, he decided the time had come to create a team power ratings system of his own. A year later, Austin traveled to Boston to attend the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, where he met the Team Rankings crew -- who could not believe that a college junior had paid his way across the country to attend a conference on sports stats.
Austin grew up ten minutes from Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. He played some basketball in high school and won back to back “most improved” awards on the swim team, yet still could not crack the varsity lineup. With his hopes for the Olympics dashed, Austin detoured to Palo Alto to study physics and take his beatings as a member of the women's basketball team practice squad. Today he does a variety of predictive modeling, analysis, and blogging for TR, in addition to watching NBA and secretly rooting for his hometown Hawkeyes over the Cardinal.