Broncos announce personnel department promotions

Denver Broncos president and general manager John Elway speaks during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Courtesy of Broncos Communications

Denver Broncos President of Football Operations/General Manager John Elway on Friday announced the following promotions to the team’s personnel department.

Matt Russell, who has overseen the day-to-day operations of the pro personnel and college scouting departments since 2012 as director of player personnel, has been promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel. In his 12th season with the organization, Russell will continue to assist Elway and initially joined the Broncos as director of college scouting in 2009.

Only two other teams (New England & Dallas) have had the continuity at the top of their personnel department than the Broncos with Elway and Russell (8 yrs.). During the last nine seasons, the Broncos have posted the seventh-most overall wins (91) in the NFL while capturing five AFC West Division titles, two AFC Championships and a victory in Super Bowl 50.

The past two drafts have yielded multiple key additions to the Broncos, including a pair of Pro Bowlers in running backPhillip Lindsay (2018) and wide receiver Courtland Sutton (2019) along with a trio of all-rookie selections in linebacker Bradley Chubb (2018), tight end Noah Fant (2019) and guard Dalton Risner (2019).

By the end of the 2019 season, Denver had the third-youngest roster (25 years, 264 days) and second-youngest offense (25 years, 237 days) in the NFL. The Broncos led the league last season in the number of offensive players (14) and combined games started (88) among players who appeared in two or fewer seasons.

The 1996 Butkus Award (nation’s top linebacker) recipient and University of Colorado Athletic Hall of Famer, Russell is entering his 20th season working in NFL personnel with previous stops in New England (2001-05) and Philadelphia (2006-08). He has been part of 11 playoff teams while winning four Super Bowls (XXXVI, XXXVIII, XXXIX & 50) and six conference championships during his personnel career.

Selected by Detroit in the fourth round (130th overall) of the 1997 NFL Draft, Russell earned all-rookie honors before knee injuries forced him to retire in 2000.

Mark Thewes has been promoted to Vice President of Football Operations and Compliance. He joined the Broncos as assistant to the head coach in 2009 before spending the last eight seasons (2012-19) as the director of team administration.

In his role, Thewes coordinates the football operations departments and serves as the liaison to the NFL office to ensure the club’s compliance with the collective bargaining agreement, roster management, reporting, scheduling, officiating and discipline. A four-year starter on the baseball team at Miami (Ohio) University, he received a bachelor’s degree in business from the school before earning a master’s degree in sports administration from Ohio University.

Tony Lazzaro has been named Senior Director, Football Technology and Research. He will lead the team’s Football Information Systems and Football Analytics departments, which provide information and research to football operations.

Lazzaro, who enters his 19th season with the Broncos in 2020, previously served as the team’s director of football information systems (2009-19) and manager of football IT (2002-08). He joined the Broncos after working with the San Diego Chargers’ IT department in various roles from 1998-2002. Lazzaro owns a bachelor’s degree in business/finance from Colorado State University and a master’s degree in business administration from National University (San Diego).

Darren Mougey, previously the team’s western regional scout, has been promoted to Assistant Director of College Scouting. He will work closely with Russell and College Scouting Director Brian Stark on all areas of the college scouting process while also maintaining his responsibilities evaluating the Western region.

Originally hired by the Broncos as a personnel intern in 2012, Mougey has held several positions with the club in both the pro and college scouting departments. He was a four-year letterman as a quarterback and wide receiver at San Diego State University and competed in training camps with Atlanta (2009) and Arizona (2010) before beginning his scouting career.

Karl Schreiner has been promoted to Director, Football Information Systems. In his fifth year with the Broncos in 2020, Schreiner designs, builds and maintains all internal systems supporting personnel, coaches, trainers, and the strength and conditioning staff. He received his bachelor’s degree in science from Metro State University and is a graduate of Highlands Ranch (Colo.) High School.

Scott Flaska has been named Senior Manager, Football Analytics. Flaska is entering his fifth season with Denver in 2020 and works with the football operations departments to design and implement data-driven research and solutions. A University of Colorado graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, he previously worked as a professional development program engineer for Northrop Grumman in Boulder.

Richard Hildebrand has been promoted to Senior Software Engineer. Beginning his third year with the Broncos in 2020, Hildebrand contributes to the team’s software development. He is a two-time graduate from Kent State University, earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science before completing a master’s degree in business administration.

Emily Kuehler has been promoted to Data Scientist. Kuehler is entering her second season with the team and assists the Football Technology and Research Department with data collection and analysis. She is a Stanford University graduate and began her career at her alma mater as a quantitative research assistant.

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