In May, Phillips, Morton Schapiro, and Northwestern gave head football coach Pat Fitzgerald the same 10-year contract. The next priority for NU was to resign their athletic director. Just like they did in May, Schapiro and NU delivered.
"Jim Phillips is one of the most talented, energetic and hard-working persons I have ever met," said Northwestern University president Morton Schapiro in a statement. "I predict that, under his leadership, we will achieve even greater athletic success while always remaining true to the academic values that define Northwestern."
Phillips was a candidate for the athletic director job at his alma mater, Illinois. He never once discussed the Illinois job, nor his contract with the media.
Under Phillips' tenure, Northwestern athletics are reaching new heights. The football team has reached three-straight bowl games. For the past two years, the football team, men's basketball team, and women's basketball team have each made postseason appearances in the same year—a school first.
When Phillips was hired, he brought in Chicago Wolves general manager Mike Polisky to head up the athletics marketing department. Now, the athletic department has created campaigns such as "Chicago's Big Ten Team" and the Dan Persa for Heisman campaign, "PersaStrong."
The next big project for Phillips is the facilities master plan. News on upgrades to Northwestern's facilities is expected in the next couple months.
Northwestern athletics have reached new heights since Phillips took over in 2008. The future is bright under Phillips' direction.
"This is an exciting time for Northwestern Athletics; we are having unprecedented success on the field and in the classroom. Very sincerely, I am honored to be able to continue working to provide a world-class experience for all of our student-athletes.
Photos and quotes courtesy of NU Athletic Communications