MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WKRG) – Steve Savarese, executive director of the Alabama High School Athletics Association, will retire in July after leading the organization for 14 years.
Savarese, who took over the organization in 2007, made the announcement during a board meeting Wednesday in Montgomery.
Savarese has served as a high school coach and teacher for more than 40 years. He led the Daphne High School football team to the 6A State Championship in 2001 and later served as the head coach at McGill-Toolen. Savarese was inducted into the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame in 2010 and the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.
As the executive director of the AHSAA, Savarese also spent time on the NFHS Board of Directors and other national committees. Last year, he was elected by the NFHS Board of Directors to the position of president-elect for the 2021 school year.
According to the AHSAA, the organization is in the best financial shape of its 100-year history under Savarese’s leadership. While leading high school athletics in Alabama, Savarese developed a revenue-sharing program that has returned more than $17 million to member schools since its implementation in 2010. Another $1.5 million is expected to be paid out during the 2021 school year, bringing the total to nearly $19 million, despite the challenges of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
In 2009, Savarese moved the Super 7 football championships to Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa and Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn on a rotating basis. He also oversaw the addition of Birmingham’s upcoming Progressive Stadium to the rotation, which is set to begin this fall.
Working with cities across the state, Savarese has expanded neutral sites for all 26 championship sport playoff experiences.