When he was hired as the Miami Dolphins Vice President of Football Operations, Mike Tannebaum discussed the team's use of analtics and sports science and how he would look to upgrade it. Yesterday, he did exactly that by hiring Wayne Diesel as the team's new Sports Performance Director and promoting Dennis Lock to Director of Analytics.
Diesel, who spent the last eight years with Tottenham Hotspur Football Club of the English Premier League, will work with the Dolphins' training and strength and conditioning departments, focusing on injury prevention and rehabilitation. With Tottenham, he oversaw the efforts of doctors, physiotherapists, sports scientists, podiatrists, nutritionists and chiropractors, and helped coordinate the medical service department's work to optimize player recovery and prevent injuries.
He has also worked with Charlton Athletic Football Club and Gloucester Rugby Football Club. Diesel has 12 years of experience running private physiotherapy practices, including setting up the first physiotherapy practice at the Sports Science Institute of South Africa based in Cape Town. While in South Africa, he worked as head physiotherapist for a range of different sports, including national women's gymnastics, men's hockey, swimming, football and rugby as well as provincial cricket and football. Additionally, Diesel was appointed as the head physiotherapist for South African teams at the All African (1992), Olympics (1996) and Commonwealth Games (1998). He also held the position of president of South African Transplant Games Association and western province chairman of South African Sports Medicine Association.
Diesel received his PhD in exercise physiology from the University of Witwatersrand in 1994.
Lock joined the Dolphins in 2014 as head analyst before being promoted to the Director of Analytics this week. He supports football operations through statistical analysis and research and is currently finishing his PhD in statistics from Iowa State University with a dissertation on utilizing statistics in sports. While at Iowa State, Lock worked as a consultant for many academic departments as well as the Iowa State University men's basketball team. During this time, he also served as a co-author on a prominent statistics textbook. Lock received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from St. Lawrence University in 2008.
Earlier this week, the Dolphins were listed by ESPN as one of seven NFL teams with "one foot in" on use of analytics, trailing nine teams who are "believers" while no team is "all-in." After this week, the Dolphins should be moving up that listing, and could be closing in on becoming the first "all-in" team.