BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Phil Savage was named Monday the color commentator for football games on the Alabama Crimson Tide Sports Network, replacing Ken Stabler.
The news was announced in an email sent to FOX6 News from the University of Alabama.
Savage joins Eli Gold and Barry Krauss on the radio network. He replaces Ken Stabler, who left the broadcast booth prior to the 2008 football season after a DUI arrest. Stabler was acquitted of the charge in October 2008, but the University announced in April 2009 Stabler would not return to the broadcast.
Below is the news release sent to FOX6 News on Monday regarding the hire of Phil Savage:
SAVAGE NAMED RADIO COLOR ANALYST FOR ALABAMA FOOTBALL
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Jim Carabin, General Manager of Crimson Tide Sports Marketing, announced the hiring of Phil Savage on Monday as the new radio color analyst for the University of Alabama football games. Savage will join Eli Gold (play-by-play) and Barry Krauss (sideline) on the Crimson Tide Sports Network this fall, which reaches more than 50 stations in Alabama and around the South.
"We are very pleased to add Phil Savage to our broadcast team," said Carabin. "His experience as a former coach, college scout and general manager will provide a unique perspective for the Alabama Nation. We had many great candidates who expressed interest in the position, which was appreciated. At the end of the day, Phil really stood out."
Savage, who handled the color commentary for Alabama's A-Day Game this spring, most recently served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Cleveland Browns (2005-08). In his four seasons with the Browns, the team acquired five Pro Bowl players (three through the college draft) and won a franchise-best 10 games in 2007.
Prior to his stint with Cleveland, Savage spent nine years with the Baltimore Ravens. He was hired as the Director of College Scouting by Vice President of Player Personnel Ozzie Newsome in 1996 and held that position for seven years. He was elevated to Director of Player Personnel in 2003. In that time period, the Ravens acquired 11 Pro Bowl players through the college draft, including Jonathan Ogden and Ray Lews, who helped Baltimore to a victory over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XXXV.
In 1991, after a brief stint with the San Antonio Riders of the World League, Savage was hired by Cleveland Browns head coach Bill Belichick as a defensive assistant. He worked for three years as an assistant for defensive coordinator Nick Saban breaking down opponent tapes and working with the defensive backs. Savage also helped prepare for the Browns' drafts by scouting potential prospects. Following the 1993 season, Belichick encouraged him to expand on his experiences in scouting and moved him to the player personnel department as an area scout. He was responsible for the West coast in 1994 and was promoted to National Scout in 1995.
"I think Phil will do an excellent job with our radio broadcast," said head coach Nick Saban. "I've known and worked with Phil for almost 20 years and he is one of the most knowledgeable I've ever been around when it comes to analyzing the game of football from both a personnel and strategy standpoint. We are excited to have someone of Phil's caliber as a part of the Alabama football program."
The Mobile, Ala. native attended Murphy High School where he played football and baseball. From Murphy, Savage continued his academic and athletic career at the University of the South. He quarterbacked the Tigers' football team and was a three-time all-conference selection on the baseball team as a shortstop. Savage majored in English and graduated in 1987. From there, he spent three seasons as a graduate assistant at Alabama on Bill Curry's staff and worked under offensive coordinator Homer Smith in 1988-89. Savage followed Smith to UCLA in 1990 and coached the tight ends. During his time at Alabama, he earned his graduate degree in Physical Education.
"I am thrilled to be a part of Alabama Football again," said Savage. "I truly appreciate this opportunity and will do my very best to help continue the long history of the radio broadcasts being informative and enjoyable for all Crimson Tide fans."
Phil resides in Fairhope, Ala. with his wife, Dorothy, an accomplished theatrical actress and singer who will release her debut album, End of Me, this summer.
Savage will make his regular season debut when Alabama opens the 2009 season against Virginia Tech in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on September 5.