Mobile, AL. (May 1)—Phil Savage is coming home. The Mobile native and former general manager of the Cleveland Browns is returning to the Port City to serve as the executive director of the Senior Bowl it was announced by Mobile Arts and Sports Association (MASA) chairman Angus R. Cooper, II on Tuesday. MASA is the Senior Bowl's parent organization. Savage will be formally introduced at a press conference in the Crystal Ballroom of the Battle House Hotel in downtown Mobile on Wednesday at 3 pm (CT).
Savage brings more than 25 years of experience to the Senior Bowl having most recently served as a player personnel executive with the Philadelphia Eagles. He is also currently the color analyst for the University of Alabama football broadcasts on the Crimson Tide Sports Network, a role that he will continue to hold.
In four seasons as the Senior Vice President and General Manager of the Browns (2005-2008), the Murphy High School graduate was responsible for acquiring five Pro Bowlers either through the draft or free agency. The Browns also won a franchise-best 10 games in 2007 under Savage's watch.
Prior to his stop in Cleveland, Savage spent time in the Baltimore Ravens' front office—first as the Director of College Scouting (1996-2002) and later as the Director of Player Personnel (2003-2004). During his nine seasons in Baltimore, Savage helped the Ravens assemble a roster that claimed the Super Bowl XXXV title and included 12 Pro Bowl selections.
"We are incredibly excited to bring Phil in as the Senior Bowl's new executive director," Cooper said. "When the position first became available he was the number one guy we wanted to talk to. Phil is widely respected as a tremendous evaluator of talent and his wealth of contacts within not only the college coaching community but also the National Football League will really serve him well in this role."
"When we were reviewing potential candidates, Phil met every requirement we were looking for in an executive director. The icing on the cake is the fact that he was born and raised right here in Mobile. He knows and loves this community and we feel confident that he'll take the Senior Bowl to new heights."
Savage, 47, becomes the game's fifth executive director in its 62-year history. He will begin his duties with the Senior Bowl on June 1.
"First of all I'm honored to have been a candidate for this position," Savage said. "I am thrilled to be coming home to Mobile and joining a first class organization such as the Senior Bowl. We are looking forward to expanding the footprint of the game as it relates to the National Football League as well as making a bigger impact on our community."
Savage attended the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee where he starred in both football and baseball, earning all-conference honors three times in the latter. While obtaining his Master's degree in physical education from the University of Alabama, Savage served as a graduate assistant under head coach Bill Curry during the 1987-1989 seasons. During his time in Tuscaloosa, the Crimson Tide claimed the 1989 SEC Championship and also made trips to the Hall of Fame, Sun and Sugar Bowls.
He followed Alabama offensive coordinator Homer Smith to UCLA for the 1991 season, coaching tight ends as a graduate assistant before a brief stint as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Riders of the World League of American Football.
Savage made his move to the National Football League in the spring of 1991, joining then-Browns coach Bill Belichick's staff as a defensive assistant. For three years, Savage assisted Browns defensive coordinator Nick Saban with defensive backs while also grading players for the Browns' drafts. In 1994, he made the full-time transition from coaching to player personnel, serving as a college scout for the Browns for two seasons before the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996.
Savage is a member of the Mobile Sports Hall of Fame (Class of 2010) and a regular guest on several local, regional and national radio programs. For 18 years (1990-2008) he conducted a free high school football camp for Mobile and Baldwin County students. More than 2,000 athletes participated in the camp over the years, including future NFL quarterbacks JaMarcus Russell, Tee Martin and Pat White. Several other campers went on to play college football at more than 30 schools across the nation.