Click the link for an updated version of this story: Browns give analytics guru Ken Kovash VP of player personnel title, announce other promotions and one hire
The Browns announced six promotions and a new hire within their player personnel department on Tuesday. Read the news release below:
The following six members of the department have taken on new titles:
Ken Kovash - Vice President, Player Personnel
Mike Cetta – Director of Scouting
Kevin Meers - Director of Research and Strategy
Chisom Opara - Director of Player Personnel
Dan Saganey - Director of Scouting
Bobby Vega - Director of Scouting
Additionally, the Browns named Glenn Cook, who spent the previous four years in Green Bay’s player personnel department, as their new Assistant Director of Scouting.
The staff will work with Executive Vice President of Football Operations Sashi Brown, Chief Strategy Officer Paul DePodesta and Vice President of Player Personnel Andrew Berry.
“We feel really good about our department as a whole and the extensive collaboration we have established in our everyday work,” Brown said. “Our intent has been to assemble a group committed to creating strategic and comprehensive processes that help us make the best decisions possible for building our football team. We are excited about the high caliber individuals within our football operations, the quality of their work and their passion for football.”
Kovash has been with the Browns since 2013 and spent the past three seasons in Cleveland’s player personnel department as the director of football research. His first three seasons in the NFL were with the Dallas Cowboys, where he worked as the team’s senior analytics manager.
“Ken is an intelligent, critical thinker,” Brown said. “He provides valuable leadership and input to our decision-making process and will continue to be a key component to our personnel department.”
Cetta joined the Browns scouting department in 2013 as an intern. He was hired full time in 2014 as a department assistant. In his new role, he will help direct systems and processes that support the Browns scouting department.
“In Mike’s three years with our organization he has worked extremely hard and has proven that he can have a positive impact on our scouting process,” Brown said. “He’s another smart, diligent and collaborative worker that has a bright future with our organization.”
Meers has been with the Browns for three years and was a football research analyst the past two seasons. Meers began his career with the Browns as a football research intern in 2013. He will work closely with DePodesta.
“Kevin’s inquisitive nature, his intelligence, and his tireless work ethic make him a perfect fit to lead our research function,” DePodesta said. “We look forward to him helping us in many different areas.”
Opara enters his 12th season with the Browns and will also work directly with DePodesta. He joined the team in 2005 and was an area scout for the first nine years after breaking into the NFL with the Baltimore Ravens, where he was a player personnel assistant. A former wide receiver at Princeton, Opara signed with the Ravens as an undrafted free agent in 2003, was waived at the end of training camp but landed with Baltimore one year later in the player personnel department.
“We’re thrilled to add Chisom’s expertise to the broader player personnel function,” DePodesta said. “His deep background in scouting and his ability to work across many different lines will make a huge impact on the organization.”
Saganey is in his eighth year with the Browns, most recently serving as a manager in the player personnel department. He tracked player movement around the league, conducted advance scouting of Browns’ opponents, helped prepare the staff during pro free agency and was also involved in the evaluation of college prospects. A position coach at Harvard for two seasons before he joined the Browns in 2009, Saganey is a native of Norfolk, Massachusetts, and an alum of Colby College in Waterville, Maine.
“It was very important for us to be able to retain Dan,” Brown said. “He has a diverse background in that he’s coached on the college level and has worked in our personnel department for seven seasons. He knows our league and knows our division especially well. We look forward to him leading our scouting efforts on the pro side.”
Vega has been with the Browns for 12 seasons working in different capacities within the player personnel department. A scouting assistant in his first two seasons with the Browns, Vega was elevated to a college-area scout in 2007, evaluating prospects from small schools from Maine to Florida before taking on mid-Atlantic responsibilities and eventually taking over as the club’s Southeast scout in 2009. A four-year letter winner at The College of Wooster, Vega will move to Cleveland after residing in Monroeville, N.C.
“Bobby has been one of the most respected college scouts on our staff for some time,” Brown said. “He understands our vision and we really value his input. In his role as director, we will look for him to provide leadership and efficiency in our college scouting process, enhancing our opportunities to pick the best players.”
Cook joined the Packers in 2012 and held a variety of responsibilities in the Packers’ pro personnel department. An alum and former graduate assistant at the University of Miami, Cook assisted in the evaluation of college and professional players, prepared advance scouting reports of upcoming opponents, conducted tryouts during the season and evaluated pro day/draft prospects during the spring.
“We are fortune to be able to add Glenn to our personnel department,” Brown said. “He is a highly-regarded, bright scout that has been a part of a very successful scouting environment in Green Bay. He will bring a fresh perspective to our group and we are excited to have him on our staff.”