Sixers Hire Annelie Schmittel as VP of Player Development

By Brandon Apter, Sports Talk Philly Staff 

The Philadelphia 76ers have announced a new addition to their front office, hiring Annelie Schmittel as Vice President Of Player Development. According to the official Sixers press release, the position is responsible for creating, managing and overseeing the holistic development and implementation of programs that support the professional and personal growth of 76ers players, staff and families.

Here's a little background on Schmittel from the release:

With nearly a decade of experience in athlete development, Schmittel joins the team after spending the last three seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Also boasting experience working with NCAA Division I and II collegiate athletes, Schmittel is a proven leader with an unparalleled passion for maximizing players’ athletic and personal growth, on and off the court. Under Schmittel’s creative leadership and innovative mindset, the 76ers will continue to augment on-court progress with off-court development and strive to help players balance on-court priorities and personal responsibilities.

Prior to joining the 76ers, Schmittel was a member of the Raiders’ player engagement staff. While responsible for strategy, planning, oversight and execution of player development, Schmittel successfully implemented and managed various programs such as the Raiders Family Boot Camp and the team’s Rookie Academy; a transitional program for all drafted and undrafted players that specializes in the professional development into the NFL from college, both on and off the field. Among her many responsibilities with the Raiders, Schmittel also specialized in innovative programming and the creation of various initiatives for the continued development of both current and former players on the roster, significant others and family members.

Prior to joining the Raiders, Schmittel worked as an instructor and researcher at the University of Florida while completing her doctorate degree, earning a PhD in Sports Communication. A published researcher with a primary expertise in crisis communication in sports, Schmittel has received several awards and recognition for her work in the classroom and in scholarship.

Schmittel is relatively young, having completed her undergrad degree in 2009 and masters in 2012. This is a forward-thinking move from the Sixers, not only because they've hired a woman for an executive power position in a league/industry dominated by men, but because her position will focus less on the on-court stuff and more on understanding the players off the court and helping them grow and develop as people. These positions are ones that are becoming more and more common in sports.

“I am excited to join the 76ers and further the organization’s mission of providing best-in-class service and support to our players and their families, as well as our dynamic staff,” Schmittel said. “This is an important time in the growth and development of the team. The 76ers have an innovative and progressive infrastructure in place. I look forward to the opportunity of growing and solidifying our athlete development efforts for years to come.”

Schmittel, a native of Germany, got her Bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism and her Master's in Sport Management from Winona State University in Minnesota.

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