Chicago Bears president to retire after season
Chicago Bears president and CEO Ted Phillips will retire at the end of the 2022 season and the search for his replacement is already underway, the team announced Friday morning.
Phillips’ career with the Bears spanned 40 seasons, and he’s been team president since 1999. Under his leadership, the Bears made six playoff appearances in 23 seasons, with one Super Bowl appearance in the 2006 season They had 12 losing seasons and haven’t won a playoff game since the 2010 season.
Phillips, 65, has been involved in the hiring of four general managers – Jerry Angelo in 2001, Phil Emery in 2012, Ryan Pace in 2015 and Ryan Poles this year. The Bears have also hired five coaches – Lovie Smith, Marc Trestman, John Fox, Matt Nagy and current coach Matt Eberflus.
Phillips also oversaw the renovation of Soldier Field in 2003, the expansion of Halas Hall which was completed in 2019, the Bears’ training camp moves to Bourbonnais in 2002 and Lake Forest in 2020, and the creation of a role front office for a senior vice president. Chair of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
Phillips spoke proudly to the Bears website about his work with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley and other politicians, strategists and architects to advance Soldier Field renovations, saying he still wonders in amazement when he drives by: “How did we get it done?”
He said in a statement that he was “truly blessed” with his Bears career.
“I appreciate the support of the McCaskey family and to be involved in overseeing this incredible growth of the Chicago Bears over the years is a dream come true,” Phillips said in the statement. “Each day has been a real pleasure and being around so many talented and wonderful people has made my job very rewarding on so many levels. I will always bleed blue and orange and forever be proud to be part of the family. of the Chicago Bears.
In January, Bears president George McCaskey announced that Phillips’ responsibilities were changing, focusing more on acquiring the former Arlington International Racetrack property and developing a potential stadium in Arlington. Heights. The Poles would report directly to McCaskey rather than Phillips, to whom Pace had reported.
Phillips’ decision to stay on until the end of the NFL season will allow him to continue working on the Arlington Heights project, which is slated for completion in early 2023.
After that, he will end a tenure that began as team controller in 1983. Phillips, a Notre Dame and North West graduate who began his career as an auditor and tax accountant, also has served as Bears’ chief financial officer and vice president of operations.
“He started with us as a financial expert,” Bears owner Virginia McCaskey said in a statement. “Everything he was asked to do, he pulled through and did very well. We were very lucky to have him.
The Athletic first reported the news of Phillips’ retirement and quoted him as saying COVID-19 had changed the dynamics of his professional life and made him think twice.
“I came to the conclusion that, my God, almost 40 years is a long time,” Phillips told The Athletic. “It’s time to pass on the baton and give myself some time. You know how that business can be, lots of hours and time away from family. I just turned 65. I feel good. My health is good. I felt it was time to slow down and do what I wanted to do.
Phillips was only the fourth president in team history, following Michael McCaskey, George “Mugs” Halas Jr. and George S. Halas.
The Bears’ press release said a replacement would be announced “in the coming months.” The team hired recruitment firm Nolan Partners to help find Phillips’ successor.
If the Bears are considering candidates on their team, they have five senior vice presidents, including senior vice president of business strategy and chief financial officer Karen Murphy, senior vice president and general counsel Cliff Stein and senior vice president of Marketing and Communications Scott Hagel.
A major question for George McCaskey will be whether the Bears maintain their current structure with the new recruit. A criticism of Phillips’ tenure was that his business acumen was not matched by the same level of footballing expertise, in some ways leaving general managers unchecked.
But McCaskey has often defended the structure. In January, after the Bears fired Pace, McCaskey was asked why the Bears hadn’t considered a separate president of football operations.
“I don’t think there’s anything magical about a so-called football czar,” McCaskey said. “At some point, the footballer, whether it’s the general manager, an executive vice-president or a president of football operations, has to be accountable to ownership.”
At the same press conference, McCaskey said he trusted Phillips “implicitly,” praising his judgment, analytical skills, instincts and negotiating skills.
“It’s hard to put into words what Ted has meant to the Bears and our family,” McCaskey said in a statement. “The confidence that Virginia and Ed McCaskey placed in him by appointing him president and CEO of the Bears has been rewarded time and time again.
“He’s the best boss I’ve ever had, and when I became his boss, he handled it kindly, like he has so many other situations. He is held in high regard by his peers in the league, and rightly so. We are lucky to have had him here for as long as we have.