Congratulations to River Bluff Head Men’s Soccer coach Phil Savitz on being recognized as the as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s Coach of the Year. Savitz recently won the 4A state soccer title with the Gators, defeating Clover 5-0 in a convincing win. Savitz has over 600 coaching victories and looks to still continue strong in the game he loves to coach so much. To win the award, a coach must meet the following criteria:
- Knowledge of the game (rules, systems, coaching philosophy)
- Rapport with the team (respect of the players)
- Team image (team conduct, style of play, performance)
- Conduct on the field (positive behavior)
- Work for coaches organization (meetings, committees)
- Outside involvement (clinics, camps, conventions)
- Community involvement (leagues, banquets)
- Rapport with other coaches (cooperative, considerate)
- Rapport with officials
- Relationship with media (cooperative, considerate)
- Service to the NSCAA
Phil Savitz is now in his 37th year of coaching high school soccer. He coached his first 33 years at Irmo High School and then moved to River Bluff High School when the school opened in 2012. During these three years, his Gators have won 11 playoff games, are undefeated in region play at 32-0 , and have posted a combined record of 66-8. The first two years they reached both the 3A Upper State and 4A Lower State Championship Games and were the 4A State Champions in their third year. With a career record of 700-91-6 over the past 36 years, Coach Savitz has recorded more wins than any other high school soccer coach in the history of the sport in South Carolina. His teams have won a record 15 4A State Championships, while appearing in the state finals 24 times. Soccer players under his leadership have been named State Player of the Year 14 times and numerous athletes have gone on to have successful collegiate careers. Coach Savitz was inducted into the SC Soccer Coaches Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame class June 15, 2007 and in 2012 he was inducted into the South Carolina Coaches Association Hall of Fame.
USA Today and NSCAA have ranked his teams nationally many times in their final polls, including five times in the top five. Twice his teams won four consecutive state championships from 1987–1990 and 1995–1998, an honor held only by Coach Savitz’s teams in 4A. Academically, Savitz’s teams have received the NSCAA Team Academic award for achievement in the classroom numerous times.
Coach Savitz served as a graduate assistant to Mark Berson at the University of South Carolina for two years prior to his teaching and coaching career at Irmo and River Bluff High Schools.
Coach Savitz feels honored to have served as the Head Coach of the Men’s Soccer Teams at Irmo and River Bluff and feels very humbled to have received the 2016 NSCAA National Coach of the Year Award for High School Boys in the Large Public School category!
Supporting the programs he has coached is truly a family affair for the Savitz’s, as wife Jan and daughter Erin rarely miss a game, while son Zack, played for his dad at Irmo and is a long time volunteer assistant with the Varsity teams.
Congratulations to Coach Savitz on this tremendous honor!