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Tony DeFeo Named Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration

Sep 5, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz. – Sun Devil Football is excited to announce the addition of front office veteran and industry executive Tony DeFeo as an Associate Athletic Director for Football Administration. His job duties include oversight, general management, and executive leadership of ASU's football program.

DeFeo arrives in Tempe with a unique skill set and diverse background, having held multiple executive positions within top football organizations as well as the sports & tech business sectors. In his position, Tony is tasked with executive leadership of the football organization.

 "My family and I am extremely grateful to Coach Herm Edwards, Vice President for University Athletics Ray Anderson, and Deputy Athletics Director Jean Boyd for the opportunity to join the Sun Devil family," DeFeo remarked. "I am truly humbled to join this amazing group of leaders who each day display the courage of their convictions and are wholly focused on the advancement of Arizona State Athletics as well as the enhanced experiences and advancement of opportunities we can offer our student athletes."

Tony has garnered a wealth of experience in football operations offices at highest levels of both NFL and NCAA football. He most recently served as Director of Football Operations, Analytics, and NFL Liaison for the University of Michigan. Prior to that, he worked in Football Operations and Administration in the San Francisco 49ers front office.

As Director of Football Operations, Analytics, and NFL Liaison for Michigan, DeFeo directed all front office operations of one of the most recognizable brands/teams in all of sports. He was also responsible for designing, developing, and administering the Wolverine's analytics initiative, player performance, and player engagement programs.

"Tony gives us an executive sports leadership resource that we will undoubtedly benefit from.  He has a wealth of knowledge and depth of experience in increasingly important areas of the game," Sun Devil Football head coach Herm Edwards discussed. "He has already made an impact in our building and we are grateful to have him as a part of our ASU family."

As part of the San Francisco 49ers front office, his areas of responsibility originally included player contract negotiation research, comparative studies, salary cap tracking and roster talent optimization. He then became part of an effort to develop and integrate advanced scouting/player personnel analytics systems that also focused on player acquisition analysis. DeFeo is well-versed in understanding how to gather and utilize analytics to recognize and capture value in the context of gaining a competitive advantage.

Recently, DeFeo has also co-founded and led multiple companies in the social media/tech vertical.  Prior to that, he was a stakeholder and President of EdjSports, a sports analytics company. His executive experience dates back to when he was the Vice President of Operations for the international agency; ProPlay Basketball Inc. in 2003.
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n his role as President of EdjSports, he was responsible for managing and building all aspects of the prescriptive analytics firm. DeFeo and company partnered with multiple NFL teams to integrate win probability based modeling, in-game decision making, and personnel models as part of a holistic analytics program design. One of those partnerships included the 2017 World Champion Philadelphia Eagles, that was the focus of an article in The New York Times. His subject matter expertise of the football analytics space was additionally called upon to present to a group of more than 300 (including representatives of 15 NFL teams) at the Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.

Utilizing his extensive network of relationships throughout the business of sports, Tony also negotiated media deals with Fox Sports, NFL Network, and the Pac-12 Network; as well as initiated and oversaw the completion of an acquisition of Football Outsiders Media Group. All of part of his strategic plan that took an unknown start-up to a recognizable asset within the vertical in less than a year.

The University of Kansas graduate received his B.A. in Political Science in 1998 before going on to earn a Juris Doctorate with a Sports Law emphasis from DePaul University in 2001. He then went on to earn a Masters Degree in Sport Management from the University of San Francisco in 2011.

Tony and his wife Amy are the proud parents of Dominic, AJ, and Stella.