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Articles About HUDL

Articles About HUDL

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Published by FballGuru
Hudl is the best thing since sliced bread. ...Seriously though. It's awesome.
Hudl is the best thing since sliced bread. ...Seriously though. It's awesome.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: FballGuru on Mar 22, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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David Graff, John Wirtz, and Brian Kaiser,Founders of Agile Sports
The Broncos, the Browns, and the Jets all use Agile Sports's software to help players memorize offensiveand defensive schemes.
By Nitasha Tiku | Jul 19, 2010A month after signing with the New York Jets in 2008, Brett Favre memorized between 40 and 50 percent of 
the team‟s complex offensive playbook. By the season kickoff, he had 75 percent of the plays down cold. He
did it all with the help of coaching software developed by three twenty-somethings in Lincoln, Nebraska.David Graff was an MBA student at University of Nebraska working for Huskers football coach Bill Callahanwhen he first got the idea for Agile Sports. Callahan, a former Oakland Raiders coach, wanted to adapt hisoffensive and defensive strategy for college football. Leveraging his accounting background, Graff developedsome crude databases that looked at statistical breakdowns. But there was one hitch. There was no way to
analyze game tape away from the team‟s headquarte
rs.To Graff, the technological dilemma smelled of opportunity. He sat down with two fellow students, BrianKaiser and John Wirtz, and made the pitch: the three of them would develop a software program that would letcoaches and players view, mark up, and
strate” footage
(writing on the screen like a sportscaster on TV)remotely and securely over a laptop.They presented the idea to Callahan in February 2006, and the coach liked it so much that he wanted to use itfor spring training. That posed a sma
ll problem. “The demo was a lot of smoke and mirrors,” says Graff. Theyneeded access to Callahan‟s coaching staff in order to assess the team‟s needs, and a year to build the software.
Callahan agreed. With just their laptops and a $200-a-month office space, they went to work. Kaiser focused onthe technology; Graff and Wirtz applied for patents and wrote the business plan. Security was the biggestconcern. In addition to a firewall and tracking IP address of approved users, the software would text a five-digit
access code to a users‟ personal cellphone.
 Callahan was so pleased with the software, called Hudl, that when he interviewed with the New York Jets in2008, he brought it with him. The Jets soon signed up as a customer. Two more NFL franchises, the Broncosand the Browns, as well as 12 Division I college football teams, now use Hudl to allow players and recruitersstudy tape remotely.
In the past year, the company has also signed on 1,300 of the country‟s 18,000 high school teams as accounts.
The software lets coaches input video directly from a camera with the same notation and telestration functions.Players can also easily assemble highlight reel to send to recruiters. With 100,000 youth sports teams around thecountry, the company is considering di
versifying even further. “Right now, we wouldn‟t rule anything out,”
says Graff.Copyright © 2011 Mansueto Ventures LLC. All rights reserved.Inc.com, 7 World Trade Center, New York, NY 10007-2195.
Jets’ New Video System: A Home Page for Football
Published: July 28, 2008
After the Nebraska football program installed a new video system last season, one coach said it saved hismarriage.
Suzy Allman for The New York Times
Kellen Clemens has said the new Hudl video system allows him to watch game film at home.
Analysis and discussion of the N.F.L. draft and off-season news from around the league.Go to The Fifth Down Blog »
That was beyond what David Graff, one of its developers, expected. The program, called Hudl, was conceived acouple of years ago by three Nebraska students whose obsessions were technology and Cornhuskers football.The result is part video library, part picture montage, part video game, part instant messenger, part calendar,part playbook 
essentially an online community, like Facebook  for football. Nebraska, under Coach Bill Callahan, used Hudl for the 2007 season to rave reviews. The Cornhuskers finished5-7, and Callahan was fired. But he took Hudl to his interview with the Jets,and he was hired as assistant head coach.The system has been praised by the likes of  Microsoft
Bill Gates and Coach Eric Mangini, whose Jets are thefirst N.F.L. team to use it. Graff said he hoped Hudl would eventually change the way teams store, access, edit and use video.
“There is a world of possibility,” he said during a recent visit to The New York Times.
 Jeff Raikes,the president of Microsoft, who will become the chief executive of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in September, agreed. Like Graff, he grew up in Nebraska. Like Graff, Raikes obsesses over Cornhuskers football.
He even installed a satellite dish to watch the coach‟s show, and he still subscribes to Huskers Illustrated.
“Football in Nebraska is about state identity,” Raikes said. “Other places, they have other things. In Nebraska,it‟s Cornhuskers football.”
Like Graff, Raikes knows something about technology. He started at Microsoft at 23; during his 27 years there,he helped create Microsoft Office and tablet PC technology.
Raikes has long been a supporter of Nebraska‟s
computer science and management program, which now bears his name. Students in that honors program arerequired to do nine-month projects.Raikes wondered, Why not create a project for Nebraska football? So he approached three students who sharedhis interest in computer science and the Cornhuskers: Graff, Brian Kaiser and John Wirtz. The project becameHudl, and Graff, Kaiser and Wirtz founded Agile Sports Technologies with the help of investors, includingRaikes. Ever the Nebraska fan, Raikes had only a few conditions about teams the company would not approach,
Notre Dame or USC.
 Graff had previously worked in the Nebraska sports information office, so he was acquainted with Callahan.Graff, Kaiser and Wirtz sat down with the coaches and asked one question: What is the ideal system? Then theyworked on reducing the time it took to reproduce video onto DVDs for home study, protecting the notes thatpreviously would have been lost during replication and developing one system to run everything.Graff said he roomed with Cornhuskers quarterback Zac Taylor, the 2006 Big 12 offensive player of the year,
who helped the tech people with the football side of the system. When Callahan saw a prototype in 2006, “he
fell in
love right away,” Graff said.
Taylor said of Graff: “When he showed me the basic program they‟d comeup with, I was stunned. I was shocked at how much they can do with it.”
 Hudl uses the same technology that powers the Xbox 360 video-game console, and the same controller. Raikes
said Gates had been “blown away by the sophistication of the application.”
‟s main screen looks like amember‟s home page on Facebook or  
MySpace.But instead of listing hobbies and interests, it features scoutingreports, news feeds and lists of top performers, along with photographs (which draw players into the system),messaging and a calendar that can be accessed by trainers, doctors and nutritionists.Coaches can leave notes or voice messages, even draw on the screen; players can access that data fromanywhere with an Internet connection. The full playbook is available, in color, eliminating the need for paper
versions. Coaches can test players‟ knowledge of assignments instantly by having them draw on the screen.
Coaches can keep track of the players‟ usage of 
Hudl, and can also send text messages to players when newvideo is in the system. They can send individual plays or instructions to all running backs or all offensiveplayers or everyone on the team. They can run meetings with one computer.The main questions potential clients seem to have involved security; coaches cite the spying controversyinvolving the New England Patriots as heightening their concerns. Graff said that Hudl was tested by experts from Harvard and Microsoft, who pronounced it safe. He added that a player would be denied access to thesystem as soon as he was cut.The Jets liked Hudl so much that they signed an exclusivity contract to be the only American FootballConference East team to use it this season. In May, Graff said, the Jets watched about 20,000 video clips andspent more than 600 hours logged into the system.
“It‟s an interesting concept,” Mangini said
Saturday. “It‟s the ability to watch tape over the Internet. It‟s still asecure line. As a coach, you‟re always looking to be more efficient, and sometimes if you‟re not at the officeand you haven‟t told the video guys, „Hey, I need X, Y and Z,‟ then yo
u have the ability to access that stuff through this system.
“It‟s not at the same speed as our normal operating system would be, but it does give you a vehicle to studywhen you aren‟t necessarily in the building.”

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