Packers analytics guru Eayrs retires

Pete Dougherty
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Helmets sit on the practice field during Green Bay Packers organized team activities at Clarke Hinkle Field.

The Green Bay Packers lost a valuable and highly respected member of their football operations with Mike Eayrs’ recent retirement.

Eayrs, 64, retired as the head of the Packers’ analytics department a little more than a week ago after 15 years with the organization.

“Mike Eayrs is a class act, very unique contributor to our football program,” coach Mike McCarthy said Thursday. “Just his experiences and his view of the game football is so unique, he’s one of a kind. His input from a philosophical structure, officiating themes, (etc), he was endless. He was a tremendous resource. We wish him nothing but the best in his retirement years.”

Eayrs’ final game with the team was against Kansas City on Sept. 28.

McCarthy said that with the Packers in the middle of expanding their analytics department they won’t be filling Eayrs’ role with one person. His official title was director of research and development.

“You don’t replace Mike Eayrs,” he said.

The team has one other person in its analytics department, Ryan Feder, whose title is football technology analyst.

When the Packers hired him in 2001, Eayrs put the team on the leading edge of the growing field of football analytics. He managed their football databases and compiled reports for coaches and the personnel department based on team and league-wide statistical data. In essence, any member of the football staff could approach him with a project based on statistical trends and possible correlations, and if he had access to the data he would deliver.

Among his standard weekly duties, Eayrs would present a short report to the entire team on a statistical trend of note relevant to that week’s game, and he also presented a scouting report on that week’s officiating crew.

Before the Packers hired him, Earys worked for 16 seasons as the Minnesota Vikings’ director of research and development. Eayrs previously had coached football for 13 seasons, including 11 in college at the University of South Dakota, UW-La Crosse, Mankato State and Luther College.

He has a master’s degree in physical education from South Dakaota and an educational doctorate in physical education and recreation management from the University of Oregon.

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