Ed Stefanski was named Executive Vice-President of Basketball Operations on October 27, 2011. Stefanski joined the Raptors from upper management positions with the Philadelphia 76ers and New Jersey Nets, where his teams qualified for the NBA playoffs in eight of his last nine seasons. In his position, Stefanski reports to Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo.
Stefanski, who has earned a reputation throughout the NBA as an excellent evaluator of talent, spent 2007-2010 in a president and general manager role with Philadelphia. With the 76ers, Stefanski returned the franchise to playoff status via trades, the re-signing of key performers such as Andre Iguodala and Lou Williams, and the acquisition of athletic, younger players in the NBA Draft.
Despite having only mid-first round picks in three of his four drafts with the 76ers, Stefanski was able to add lottery-level talent to the team. After drafting Marreese Speights with the 16th pick in the 2008, Stefanski nabbed Jrue Holiday with the 17th selection in 2009. Holiday started all 82 games for Philadelphia in 2010-11. Evan Turner, the consensus NCAA player of the year, was tabbed in 2010 and in 2011 the team added promising 20-year-old Nikola Vucevic with the 16th choice.
Prior to joining Philadelphia, Stefanski spent nine seasons with the Nets where he oversaw the team's basketball operations and was heavily involved in the club’s roster development and player personnel matters. He was promoted to general manager of the club in the summer of 2004 following a one-year stint as the team’s senior vice president of basketball operations and four seasons as the team's director of scouting.
Stefanski played a significant role in the drafting of Kenyon Martin as the first overall selection in the 2000 Draft, as well as the three-for-one draft night trade the following season in which the Nets acquired Richard Jefferson, Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong. Three of those players (Martin, Jefferson and Collins) were starters on the Nets’ 2002-03 Eastern Conference championship team. Stefanski was instrumental in helping to build New Jersey’s back-to-back Eastern Conference Championship teams in 2002 and 2003.
In 2004, Stefanski was also a major player in the blockbuster trade that saw five-time All-Star Vince Carter move from the Raptors to the Nets.
A 1976 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton School of Business), Stefanski played three seasons for Penn, where he was coached by Hall-of-Famer Chuck Daly. Stefanski was a member of two Ivy League Champions (1974 and 1975), helping the Quakers reach the NCAA Tournament in both of those seasons.
While in college, Stefanski originated and secured the funding for the Philadelphia Housing Authority’s Inner City Basketball League, which provided a structured basketball environment for hundreds of boys and girls who lived under the auspices of the Housing Authority. Stefanski was involved in all facets of the league, including scheduling, transportation, finances and game management. At the conclusion of his two-year involvement with the project, more than 500 boys and girls comprising of more than 20 teams had been the beneficiaries of Stefanski’s vision. The Housing Authority cited his hard work with a special recognition award, commending his efforts and contributions to the children of Philadelphia.
In 1979, Stefanski began a 20-year run as a colour analyst for Big Five basketball and ESPN’s Atlantic 10 basketball coverage.
Stefanski and his wife, Karen, have four children: Edward, Jr., Kevin, Matthew and David.