Thomas Hannifan is a commentator better known by his ring name Tom Phillips signed to WWE. He was formerly the lead commentator for SmackDown, before being replaced by Rich Brennan on the August 27, 2015 episode of WWE SmackDown. He was currently the interim commentator for SmackDown since WWE Tour in Glasgow, Scotland on November 8, 2016.
Hannifan's first broadcasting experience was as a public address announcer for a football game his sophomore year of high school, where he also played football and track and field. It was then he immediately knew he wanted to be in sports broadcasting. His quest to perfect his craft took him to Penn State Altoona and then Penn State main campus, majoring in Broadcast Journalism with an emphasis on Sports Broadcasting. During his time in Happy Valley, Hannifan was actively involved in COMRadio, the student run radio station at Penn State."
After working with Big Ten Network's Student U branch and graduating from Penn State, Hannifan did play-by-play for Juniata College's football and basketball teams in central Pennsylvania for $50 a game. While doing that in the summer of 2012, he was waiting tables to stay afloat financially.
After a year and a half out of school, Hannifan found himself at a career crossroads. After wondering if broadcasting was a right fit for him, he received a job offer from the WWE.
Hannifan conducts backstage interviews for the WWE App on Raw and is the lead announcer on "WWE Superstars” with Renee Young as a color commentator. He was the lead announcer on SmackDown flanked by color commentators Jerry Lawler, Jimmy Uso and Byron Saxton, until he was replaced by WWE NXT's play-by-play commentator, Rich Brennan, on the August 27, 2015 episode of WWE SmackDown. He recently joined by Michael Cole and John Bradshaw Layfield as the color commentators until January 9, 2015. Tom has been removed from hosting WWE.com's 5 things, being replaced by Kyle Edwards. He also made a return at the announce table of NXT as play-by-play commentator, along with Corey Graves on January 13, 2016, and the announce table of Main Event and Superstars in May 2016. He recently joined by JBL until March 24, 2015, Saxton until December 15, 2015, Uso until October 27, 2015, The Miz until January 22, 2014, and Alex Riley until February 5, 2014 on Main Event. On NXT, Phillips also recently joined by the WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross, William Regal, Brad Maddox and Riley in 2013. When he calls the action with David Otunga on Main Event, he also reuniting with Graves to calls the action on Superstars next week immediately following 2016 WWE Draft Lottery. Phillips would make his return as interim commentator for SmackDown Live during Scotland tour in Glasgow on November 8, 2016. Phillips also reuniting with Byron Saxton for the first time since last year to calls the action on Main Event on November 29, 2016.
Hannifan has also been the host of one of WWE's most popular YouTube series, 5 Things, until October 21st, 2015, when Kyle Edwards replaced him.