From Guelph to the NFL

Thomas Dimitroff, a former DB with the University of Guelph Gryphons, is now one of the NFL’s longest-tenured general managers (8 seasons).

A two-time recipient of the Sporting News Executive of the Year, Dimitroff has been involved in almost every American football league, including the CIS and CFL.

Today Dimitroff directs all aspects of football operations with the Falcons and working with new Head Coach Dan Quinn has final authority over all personnel decisions related to the signing of free agents, the selection of players in the draft, trades, and related decisions.

According to Vaughn McClure of ESPN, Falcons owner Arthur Blank had some very positive things to say about the chemistry between his head coach and his Canadian general manager.

“I think it’s working great,” Blank told ESPN. “There is tremendous respect both ways. They’re working off each other; playing off each other’s strengths. They’re both good listeners to each other and to others. And I think the dynamic has worked out as well as anybody could have possibly thought.”

Dimitroff’s father, Thomas Dimitroff Sr., coached the Guelph Gryphons from 1979 to 1983, was a longtime scout for the Cleveland Browns and was one of the original members of the Boston Patriots. After graduating from Guelph and leaving the varsity Gryphons behind, Thomas Jr. landed a job in Regina, Sask., where he spent two seasons as national scouting co-ordinator for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.

Dimitroff then earned his climb up the NFL mountain by working his way through the scouting trails as a combine/BLESTO Scout, an Area Scout, National Scout, and College Director of Scouting.

In 1992, he moved on to World League of American Football, where he scouted all NFL, CFL and World League rosters while tracking player transactions for the NFL’s developmental league.

Dimitroff’s career aspirations brought him to the NFL and the Detroit Lions where he became a College Scout in 1994. It was in his years as Scout for the Lions that he was introduced to Atlanta for the first time (living in the Virginia Highlands area) while evaluating the Southeastern part of the country. From there, Dimitroff made his way back to Cleveland in 1998 as a College Scout for the Browns for four years before landing in New England in 2002.

Dimitroff captained his college team as a defensive back at the University of Guelph (Canada) from 1987–1989. He was born in Barberton, Ohio, in 1966.