Phil Savitz receives Order of the Silver Crescent

By Thomas Grant Jr.

The “farewell tour” for retiring River Bluff boys soccer coach Phil Savitz provided another moment of recognition.

On Thursday, he was presented with the Order of the Silver Crescent. This esteemed honor, established by former Gov. John C. West in 1971, recognizes Savitz’s contributions and dedicated service to the state of South Carolina and its communities throughout his remarkable career.

“Upon receiving this very unexpected award, I felt many emotions,” Savitz said. “I felt extremely humbled, honored, surprised and very appreciated and loved by so many. Personally, I am so appreciative of the 44 years I have been privileged to serve as a teacher and coach at two amazing schools, Irmo and River Bluff, and in two great school districts, Richland/Lexington 5, and Lexington 1.

“We are so grateful to all who worked for so long behind the scenes to make this special recognition happen for me and my family.”  

The Columbia native is the winningest soccer coach in South Carolina history with 806 wins and 15 state titles won over four decades. He won 14 at Irmo and led River Bluff to its first title in 2016.

His list of accolades also includes 24 state final appearances, 19-time Region Coach of the Year honors, and multiple Coach of the Year awards and Hall of Fame inductions.

River Bluff school officials praised Savitz for his “unwavering dedication, selfless contributions, and positive impact on the lives of countless individuals throughout the state.”

I hope everyone who ever worked within the Irmo and Gator soccer families knows how much we appreciate them and their tireless support these last five decades,” he said. “Also, I want to thank my family Jan, Zack Erin, Aaron, Jordi and Addi for the endless love and support they have given me all these many years and how lucky I am to have them in my corner every day.’

River Bluff is currently in second place in Region 4-5A behind Chapin. It defeated archrival Lexington 2-1 this past Friday.

Photo by River Bluff High School – River Bluff boys soccer coach Phil Savitz is presented the Order of the Silver Crescent by Rep. Chris Wooten (right). Standing next to Savitz is his wife Jan and son Zach.



Class 5A

1.Maudlin, 2. Chapin, 3. J.L. Mann, 4. Wando, 5. Clover, 6. Lexington, 7. River Bluff, 8. Blythewood, 9. St. James, 10. West Ashley

Class 3A

1.Waccamaw, 2. Beaufort, 3. Daniel, 4. Dreher, 5. Powdersille, 6. Gilbert, 7. Hanahan, 8. Phillip Simmons, 9. Camden, 10. Wren


All Classifications

1.J.L. Mann, 2. Clover, 3. Cardinal Newman, 4. Catawba Ridge, 5. Oceanside Collegiate, 6. Ashley Ridge, 7. River Bluff, 8. A.C. Flora, 9. Gray Collegiate, 10. St. Joseph’s Catholic School

Class 5A

1.J.L. Mann, 2. Clover, 3. Ashley Ridge, 4. River Bluff, 5. Mauldin, 6. Wando, 7. Stratford, 8. Dutch Fork, 9. Nation Ford, 10. Hillcrest

Class 3A

1.Powdersville, 2. Daniel, 3. Waccamaw, 4. Phillip Simmons, 5. Hanahan, 6. Wren, 7. Fountain Inn, 8. Swansea, 9. Gilbert, 10. Beaufort