Tony Ensor, the President and General Manager of the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, announced today that he will be departing his role following the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season. Ensor will become the President and General Manager of Elmore Sports' new Double-A franchise in Amarillo, which will begin play in the Texas League in 2019.
"I make this announcement with mixed emotions," said Ensor. "My family and I have been very blessed to live and work in this incredible community for the past 14 seasons and have built many amazing relationships along the way. We will take with us great memories and many lasting friendships. This is also a tremendous opportunity that we are very excited to begin as I take another step forward in my professional baseball career."
Assistant General Manager Chris Phillips has been named as the organization's new General Manager and will take over day-to-day operations and serve as the club's General Manager following the 2018 season when the franchise transitions from Triple-A baseball to the Rookie-Advanced level. Phillips has been with the Sky Sox for seven seasons and has served as the organization's Assistant General Manager and Vice President of Sales since December 2011.
A native of Cresskill, New Jersey, Phillips graduated from Penn State University and started his career in the hotel industry. In 2003, he transitioned into the world of Minor League Baseball, starting his path with the Altoona Curve as a Ticket Account Executive, and quickly moving up the ranks to Assistant Director of Ticket Sales shortly after. In 2005, he took on the role of Director of Ticket Sales for the Greenberg Sports Group, overseeing the ticket sales department for both the Curve and the State College Spikes. He was promoted to Assistant General Manager of the Spikes, overseeing ticket sales, sponsorships sales, and business development for the team before joining the Sky Sox. The 2018 season marks his 17th year in professional baseball.
"I'm honored and grateful for this opportunity," said Phillips. "I consider it a privilege to work for the Elmore Sports Group and I'd like to thank them for their support and belief in me as we get ready to usher in a new era of professional baseball in Colorado Springs. I'd also like to acknowledge my family, friends, and colleagues who have encouraged me along the way - and a big shout out to Tony Ensor who has been a fantastic mentor and who has become a great friend over the years. We've got a terrific staff in place and we are passionate about continuing to bring the very best in affordable family entertainment to everyone in the Pikes Peak region. We're thrilled to call Colorado Springs our home, and now that our future here is set for the next 45 + years, get ready for some serious fun out at the Ballpark with some exciting plans in the works."
Keith Hodges, Senior Director of Group Sales for the Sky Sox has been promoted to Assistant General Manager effective after the conclusion of the 2018 baseball season. The San Antonio, Texas native started with the Sky Sox in 2006 as a Group Event Planner and has been in his current capacity for the past five seasons, creating and executing corporate hospitality events and sponsorships with the organization.
On both his long-time Assistant General Manager and Group Sales Director, Ensor said, "I am excited for Chris and Keith who have truly earned their opportunity to lead our team. I have every confidence that they will do a fantastic job as the next caretakers of this great organization. They both are already integral parts of this community and I fully trust their abilities to lead this organization into the future and continue to provide a first-class fan experience."
D.G. Elmore of Elmore Sports Group commented, "There is no one else in baseball we would have rather chosen to take the reigns and head our new franchise in Amarillo besides Tony, and we are fortunate to have a seasoned leader in Chris to begin the newest era of professional baseball in Colorado Springs."
Ensor reflected on his time in Colorado Springs as Sky Sox President and General Manager,
"My time here with the Colorado Spring Sky Sox has been an amazing journey. We set out 14 years ago with many goals and dreams for our organization. We have been truly blessed to accomplished many things here because of the overwhelming support of our fans, the corporate community, season ticket holders, the media, our players and coaches, and an incredible staff I have had the privilege to work alongside these past 14 years. I am honored to have served you and become a small part of the long, rich history of professional baseball in Colorado Springs."
Ensor has led for the Sky Sox since September of 2004. During his tenure, the franchise has:
Seen over $10 million in renovations to the facility, all designed to enhance the fan experience.
Set all-time attendance numbers averaging 300,000 over nine seasons (2006-2014) and set the franchise all-time season attendance mark of 350,074 in 2014.
Been recognized with Baseball America's prestigious Bob Freitas Triple-A Organization of the Year Award in 2011, which represents long-term excellence and community involvement.
Created and hosted seven consecutive Heroes Classic games (previous Waldo Canyon Classic) in honor centered on recognizing and raising funds for Colorado Springs local heroes in the region's Police and Fire Departments.
Initiated the Charity Spotlight program for local non-profit organizations to market themselves and raise awareness for their causes at Security Service Field FREE of charge, in honor of the hard work charities provide our community.
Implemented the Annual SkyFest, Colorado Springs biggest fireworks event of the year, which appears every September of each season, along with notable theme nights including Harry Potter, Star Wars and Star Trek nights, all of which average thousands of fans per season.
Witnessed the first Perfect Game in franchise history on June 30, 2009 against the Portland Beavers (Brandon Hynick).
Snapped one of the longest post-season droughts in Minor League Baseball in 2017 after topping the American North Conference with the second-highest winning percentage (.721) in the Pacific Coast League.
Worked with Major League Partners Colorado Rockies and Milwaukee Brewers to create an environment to see hundreds of Minor League players realize their dreams of playing Major League Baseball.
Built a culture in the Colorado Springs community where residents, baseball fans, and visitors know that each game they attend, Sky Sox team members work tirelessly to provide a second-to-none Minor League Baseball experience where every fan has the opportunity to create lasting memories at the ballpark.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.