Linda Peterson, the city's spokeswoman, said there was no search process for a new administrator. She said Mayor Heather Jackson recommended Pili's appointment.
Jackson said Pili was a logical choice, given his six years with the city, five as the assistant city administrator. She said Pili will be able to go to work right away rather requiring time to learn the city's culture and needs.
She also said Pili was an "inventive" thinker who brings "unique ideas to the table."
As examples, Jackson pointed to the city's takeover of the Ranches Golf Course and the creation of a business incubator.
"The reason why they're so inventive to us is that we didn't spend taxpayer dollars on either item," Jackson said. "The golf course, when we took it over, we immediately had a company take over management of the course, and in order to keep it up, we also had an escrow fund set up to bring the golf course from a losing golf course to a much better condition," Jackson said.
Ames Construction donated the golf course to the city, along with $650,000 for an escrow fund.
Jackson said the city was able to lease a building for the business incubator by selling a building at the golf course.
Pili said he started working for the city as an intern while he completed his master's degree in public administration at Brigham Young University.
"There were times I was the acting city administrator [during the internship]," Pili said.
He also helped interview Hendrickson, who later hired him as his assistant.
Pili previously played football for BYU and with the Houston Texans, Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots. He played in Super Bowl XXXIX with the Eagles.