After six years at the helm of Mobile’s Senior Bowl, Executive Director Phil Savage is parting ways with the annual showcase of college seniors from top football programs around the country.
The bowl game’s parent organization, The Mobile Arts and Sports Association (MASA), issued a press statement Wednesday announcing the staffing change up — touting Savage as one of the “most capable” executive directors in the annual event’s 67-year history.
Since Phil joined the Senior Bowl staff in 2012, the event continued to grow in popularity, and has expanded to include a year-round schedule of “engaging activities that have been enjoyed by and benefit many in our local community.”
Under Savage’s leadership, the Senior Bowl also secured Reese’s as a title sponsor in 2014. Just this year, the world-famous candy maker agreed to stay on in that role through at least 2020.
“The national exposure and reputation of the Reese’s Senior Bowl have greatly benefited from Phil’s energy, creativity and leadership,” according to the press release. “Phil deserves a great deal of credit for being a loyal caretaker of Mobile’s signature football event, and he will be missed by the Reese’s Senior Bowl staff and Mobilians everywhere.”
No underlying reason was given for Savage’s departure, which the MASA described as “mutual” and there was no indication from the organization’s initial statement that Savage had taken a position elsewhere.
With his NFL experience and connections, Savage was a marquee hire when he arrived in Mobile six years ago. He had held executive positions for the Baltimore Ravens and Philadelphia Eagles and served as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager from 2005 to 2008.
Savage has long been a proponent of getting Alabama natives to participate in the state’s largest postseason college football game, and particularly those who grew up and played high school football in Mobile and the surrounding areas.
Earlier this year, Savage told WNSP Sports Radio that he was concerned with a number of
“inherent issues” at Ladd-Peebles Stadium — the 70-year-old publicly owned venue where the game has been played since 1961.
Following the announcement of Savage’s departure, MASA Chairman Angus Cooper said, “We appreciate Phil’s efforts here, his knowledge and enthusiasm for the game, and I am confident that he will continue to have a successful career in football.”
According to the association, Savage’s last day on the job will be Tuesday, May 15, and a search committee will be formed to begin identifying potential candidates to replace him.