Dave Tenney, the man responsible for putting and keeping the Seattle Sounders at the forefront of the soccer-data revolution, has accepted a job with the NBA’s Orlando Magic. The Sounders are already looking for his replacement.
“Dave has made an indelible and long-lasting impact as the founder of our sports science program and will be greatly missed,” Sounders GM and President of Soccer Garth Lagerwey said in a team release. “As arguably the best in his field, Dave has been an industry leader in sports performance during his time in Seattle, and one of his lasting marks is the staff he’s assembled that helps our team perform each and every day. As we wish Dave every success on the next step of his journey in the NBA, we know we’re in capable hands for the remainder of our season with his staff.”
When Tenney was hired before the 2009 expansion season, he carried the relatively simple and mundane title of Fitness Coach. But he was always someone interested in what data could bring to the sports world and quickly started implementing new systems. In late 2012, he hired Ravi Ramineni as the club’s first full-time data analyst, and shortly thereafter got an upgrade of his own title to Sports Science & Performance Director. Over the years, he added four more people to his staff as either trainers or analysts, giving the Sounders one of the most forward-looking and robust sports science staffs in MLS.
Tenney has become one of the industry leaders both in training techniques and in the use of data to help limit injuries, working extensively with some of the biggest clubs in Europe as well as other North American sports.
“I’d like to thank Sounders FC for allowing me the opportunity to be a part of the organization for the last nine years,” Tenney said in a statement. “I could never have imagined the success we’ve seen as an organization in that time. I’d like to thank Adrian Hanauer, Garth Lagerwey, Brian Schmetzer and Chris Henderson for allowing me to grow as a practitioner, and having the chance to create one of the very first true sports science departments in MLS. Sounders FC management, coaches and players have been nothing but supportive in all of our efforts to do things that were unique in MLS and team sports in the United States, and I am so grateful to have been a part. I wish nothing but success for the organization and fans as I move on to accept a new challenge in my career.”