New Candidate Emerges for Next Chicago Bears Team Leader

The Chicago Bears You are going through a lot of changes these days. They already have a new general manager and a new coach. Less than a decade from now, they will likely have a new stadium. Then for the first time in 23 years, they’ll have a new team boss when Ted Phillips Retire next year. He would end 40 years of service for the McCasci family. While no one would argue that Phillips did a phenomenal job building the Bears into huge financial success, most fans won’t remember him for that.

They will see a glorified accountant with zero background in football who can make football decisions for more than two decades. He has been the primary voice in hiring men like Dick Gurun, Mark Triestman, Phil Emery, John Fox, Ryan Pace, and Matt Nagy. His legacy will be reduced to six playoffs, five winning records, and a Super Bowl loss in 2006. There is a strong possibility that his last ten seasons on the job have only brought him two wins.

No wonder bear fans want him gone.

Now that his exit is an imposed consequence, the discussion will move to his eventual replacement. It represents a huge opportunity for George McCasky. Instead of putting a pure-money man in charge of a football organization, perhaps he could appoint someone with an actual football background in charge. There are a lot of candidates who can continue. General Counsel and longtime contract negotiator Cliff Stein is one option. Top NFL client and former Bears defensive end Trace Armstrong is another.

Neither of them seems realistic. Not according to Jeff Hughes of Da Beers Blog. He’s been on top of the Bears powerhouse transformation since the start of last year. Armstrong is someone McCasky loves, but feels he won’t leave his lucrative agent business for this position. There might be another name on their mind.

Jim Phillips means a lot to the Chicago Bears.

Start with the experience. The guy runs one of the top sports conferences in college athletics. He is no stranger to balancing sports and business. This is especially true of football. His first major position came in 2004 when he took over as athletic director of Northern Illinois University. During its five seasons there, the program reached three ball games. The first came in 2004, breaking a drought that had been in place since 1983. They won two MAC-West titles as well.

This success helped Phillips land the same job at the prestigious Northwestern, a position he will hold throughout 2020. The program achieved the largest sustained success in the school’s history during that time. They finished with a winning record eight times, won five of nine ball games, and finished their final year ranked 10th nationally. This was the highest rating the program had achieved in nearly a quarter of a century.

Phillips was born and raised in the Chicago area. He knows the area and the people.

So why is the name circled to watch it? That’s easy. Chicago Bears Pat Ryan, a minority owner, wields significant influence within Halas Hall. He is also a member of Northwestern’s Board of Trustees. The football field is named after him. Ryan Phillips is known both personally and professionally. It’s no shock that the longtime businessman would pay to bring him back to Chicago when the opportunity presents itself.

What is not clear is whether Phillips will take the job. He was always a college boy that would be a fundamental change to take over the NFL franchise. However, he will likely never get a chance like this again in his life. It’s a dream job. Keep the name in mind.

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