Chicago Bears President Ted Phillips is Retiring After This Season

The end of an era is upon us.

Ted Phillips, the Chicago Bears President and CEO (who has been in that role since 1999 and in the organization since 1983), is retiring.

The Athletic’s Dan Pompei has the exclusive story:

And thus, today marks the beginning of the end of Phillips’ time at a top perch in the Bears organizational hierarchy. The official end will come in February. But this feels like it’s been in the works for some time.

In 2020, there were rumors that Phillips would retire at the end of what was a tumultuous season to that point. But Phillips hung around, even after there was a belief that he, Ryan Pace, or Matt Nagy could’ve been shown the door in January 2021 after an ugly playoff loss. Fast forward to January 2022, and there was chatter about the Bears possibly re-defining Phillips’ role within the organization. And now, eight months later, Phillips is leaving on his own terms. Good for him. 

Phillips has been with the Bears since 1983. And since 1999, Phillips has been the team’s CEO and President. It is a role in which he has been a top figure in the organization for 23 years — only six of which have resulted in playoff trips. To be clear, it’s not as if Phillips was making draft picks, trades, or signing free agents. He wasn’t scouting talent, nor was he coaching it. But with great power comes great responsibility. As president, Phillips was overseeing the general managers making picks, cutting deals, inking signings, administering cuts, hirings, and firings. And that means something. But soon, it will be someone other than Phillips in that president’s chair. Frankly, it’s been a long time coming.

With that in mind, Phillips’ departure is only the first step in what will be an important process for the Bears.

This franchise appears to be entering a transition period. And I’m not just talking about in terms of rocking with a first-year general manager and head coach leading a second-year quarterback in Year 1 of a rebuild. Beyond that, the Bears look to be on the cusp of leaving Soldier Field for Arlington Heights. A new, state-of-the-art stadium awaits in the ‘burbs awaits. And while Phillips was part of the braintrust that laid the groundwork, the Bears next president will need to hit the ground running on what will be the biggest construction project on the franchise’s plate (save for building a winner around Justin Fields, of course).

And with that being said, I’m looking forward to obsessively following this journey. Change came with the hires of Ryan Poles and Matt Eberflus. It turns out turning over that leaf was just the first set of changes when it comes to Bears football. 

written by

Luis C. Medina, who you can find on Twitter at lcm1986, has been covering the Chicago Bears at Bleacher Nation since 2017. Since then, he has written about 3 head coaches, 5 play-callers, and 11 starting quarterbacks. Previously, Luis wrote about the Cubs and MLB at BN (2015-16) and worked in the Chicago Tribune sports department (2011-16). He also co-hosted a Cubs postgame show, Outside the Ivy, in 2019.

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