Steve Savarese, Govt Director of AHSAA, declares retirement plans
From the reports of the Tribune staff
MONTGOMERY – Steve Savarese, Executive Director of the Alabama High School Athletic Association, has announced that he has stepped down from his position for the past 15 years. He announced this at the Central Board of Control’s annual spring meeting on Wednesday.
His withdrawal will take effect on July 1st. Savarese agreed to remain in the position, to the delight of the CBOC, until his successor is hired and has had sufficient time to adjust to the position.
Savarese became only the fourth full-time executive director of the 100-year-old organization in 2007. He said his 47 years as an educator had been a long and very positive journey.
“It is now time for me to devote my time to my family,” he said. “I had a great time teaching, coaching, administrator and humbly executive director of AHSAA. Following icons like Cliff Harper, Bubba Scott and Dan Washburn has been the greatest honor of my life.
“Professionally, I wouldn’t change anything in my career. I really feel like I’ve never worked for a day in my life. I tried to approach each day and know that without enthusiasm, nothing valuable has ever been achieved. God really blessed me. “
Van Phillips, president of the board of directors, admits that his board of directors faces a very difficult task.
“We think Steve Savarese is the best in his role in the nation,” said Phillips. “But we will use our diligence to find his replacement. The RI Board will begin the search for the next Executive Director immediately.
“First of all, as President of the Central Board of Control, I would like to personally and publicly thank Steve Savarese for making this club the best high school sports association in the country. He leaves big shoes to fill, but I can only ask that he not go too far. We will always want and need his advice as we move forward. “
He said Savarse’s commitment to the AHSAA mission had kept the association moving.
“I want to express how much we admire Steve Savarese and the work he has done to always protect this association, constitution and bylaws and to stand up for what is right. Its positive effects have changed the lives of so many athletes and adults alike.
“We wish him all the best as he prepares for the next chapter in his life. We pray that God will continue to bless him and his family. “
Savarese’s tenure was underscored by many key achievements, including the launch of the AHSAA’s widely recognized Revenue Share initiative, which has returned more than $ 16,000,000 to member schools since 2010. His business acumen has put the AHSAA in its best financial shape in history.
Savarese also moved the Super 7 football championships to a rotating schedule between the University of Alabama’s Bryant Denny Stadium and the University of Auburn’s Jordan Hare Stadium by bringing together the cities of Tuscaloosa / Northport and Auburn / Opelika. The upcoming Progressive Stadium in Birmingham will join the rotation from next autumn. It also secured outstanding venues for all of the AHSAA sports championships – and provided the most positive lifelong memories for athletes, coaches, schools and communities.
Under his guidance, the AHSAA improved its technology through components such as C2C and DragonFly to successfully bring the organization into 21st Century. The online eligibility component is one of the most advanced in the nation. His vision led to the AHSAA becoming the first state association to join the NFHS network. More than 300 of the member schools have joined the NFHS Network School Broadcast Program. More than 10,000 events will be broadcast live by AHSAA member schools and their student channels this school year – generating urgently needed income for the member schools.
Savarese thanked the RI Board for their trust and support.
“To the Central Board of Control, thank you very much for the unique opportunity. Starting with President Richard Robertson and all the original board members (2007) who trusted me, and our current board members under the leadership of President Van Phillips, thank you for your unwavering support, but most of all for your determination to uphold our bylaws Schools, ”he said. “Every board member has clearly complied with the constitution and the statutes and given our students more opportunities for life. Their contributions to this 100-year-old association are evident in the Alabamians’ passion for high school athletics. “
Savarese said he had so many others to thank for a career he valued.
“God has really blessed me. I’ve valued every career opportunity I’ve been given, from Kansas to Alabama from Ensley to Benjamin Russell to Daphne and McGill-Toolen. I loved every school and community, but most of all my students. Students were the highlight of my career and these relationships remain honored and valued. I know I’m a better person because everyone I’ve worked with, the faculty, the administrators, and the support staff – especially the young people. “
“The real servant in our family is my wife, Beth,” said Savarese. “For 45 years she has sacrificed so that I can pursue my professional dreams. She is absolutely the best wife I could ever ask about. She has shared this journey with me every step of the way – to thousands of events.
“Our children, now our grandchildren, watched selflessly as their father and grandfather spent most of their time with others – now it’s their turn, however many days God will provide for me.”