Rutgers Alum Combines Love of Football, Stats and Technology
By Padraig Ryan
A 48-year-old Rutgers alumnus developed an app that provides the stats sports enthusiasts need to determine the value of individual athletes – analytics that could also help fantasy football fans assemble imaginary teams and pick winners.
“These numbers are no longer available at the player level for free – from any site that I know of,” said Glenn Ginest, who developed his Stats app as part of his final project at the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp, an intensive six-month program that teaches skills needed to create apps and become a full-stack developer. “Analytics can help us change the way we look at player value in football. I hope to be part of the start of a conversation that makes that happen.”
For Glenn, who loves, football, stats and technology, creating the app was a no-brainer. The analytic information he gathers would help scouts, coaches and general managers determine the value of individual athletes and could be used to assess and recruit players, he said.
“Being able to combine my love of the sport with technology was something I always wanted to do,” said Glenn who would love to have a job where he wrote about numbers and sports.
The programming analyst, who spent almost two decades with Verizon Wireless developing, maintaining and supporting customer applications before the company downsized, believes that his app would be popular because it offers free football analytics to those who love the game.
“I have a lot of ideas about how to look at these numbers and I want to share them with other people,” said Glenn, a 1992 Rutgers graduate who has always been a football fanatic.
The application, called Stats, provides point values and wins probabilities, critical information for those who follow college and professional football and sought after by the legions of fans that participate in daily and season-long fantasy football leagues. The Stats app, Glenn said, looks past the traditional player statistics available and provides a clearer picture of player value.
It can determine who has the best odds of winning certain awards – such as the NFL’s Most Valuable Player Award. “Based on my expected points added calculations I don't think any running back should be included in the MVP conversation,” said Glenn. “I think Matt Ryan and not Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers was clearly the MVP for the 2016 season.”
When it comes to sports, football is by far the most popular. A 2014 survey of American sports fans found that 42 percent of them said football was their favorite sport. Meanwhile, more than 40 million people take part in the 18.6 billion dollar fantasy football market, with those numbers expected to grow substantially, according to the Fantasy Sports Trade Association.
Glenn said the data produced as a result of the development of any app is what drives improvements for consumers, whether it is used for gaining information on college and professional recruitment, playing fantasy sports or making the top sports picks.
The full-stack development taught at the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp not only provided him with the skills needed to create apps but also the technical expertise that is necessary to become a web developer from beginning to end. These high-tech positions are expected to increase by 20 percent by 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In order to be competitive for one of these high-paying jobs, Glenn knew he had to go back to school to sharpen his technology skills. He had taken a programming course at the start of his career, and after he lost his job Glenn knew it was time to do the same thing again.
Over 24-weeks at the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp Glenn spent two nights a week and four hours on Saturday in class learning the new computer language. He also devoted a number of hours at home perfecting his skills.
Glenn said the Rutgers program gave him the structure he needed. “The projects and the homework really helped me learn a lot,” he said.
It also enabled Glenn to continue improving his Stats app, which has become much more than a classroom project. “It’s a passion I will continue to work on and develop,” said Glenn who will improve the app based on the feedback he gets from gamers and others who rely on the data.
“I don’t gamble,” said Glenn when others enrolled in the coding bootcamp asked him if he won every fantasy football game he played. “I just love technology, numbers, statistics and football.”
To find out more about the Rutgers Coding Bootcamp, or to enroll in the program, call 732-430-2144 or visit us at our website.