Former Lumberjack 'Bum' Phillips Passes Away at 90
Oct. 19, 2013
HOUSTON, Texas - Stephen F. Austin alumni Oail Andrew "Bum" Phillips, Texas football icon and former head coach of the Houston Oilers during the "Luv Ya Blue" heyday, passed away Friday at the age of 90.
"Bum is gone to Heaven," son Wade Phillips, current defensive coordinator of the Houston Texas, tweeted Friday night. "Loved and will be missed by all - great Dad, Coach, and Christian."
The acclaimed NFL coach, who was known for his trademark cowboy hat on the sidelines, was born in Orange, Texas, on Sept. 29, 1923.
Phillips attended Lamar University and was a member of the Cardinal football team in 1941, before enlisting the United States Marine Corps after the attack on Pearl Harbor. When World War II was complete, Phillips returned and finished his degree at Lamar before moving on to SFA.
Phillips lettered in football during the 1948 and 1949 seasons, before graduating with a degree in education in 1949.
The Lumberjack quickly ascended the coaching ranks, assisting on coaching staffs at Texas A&M University, Houston, Southern Methodist and Oklahoma State, before serving as head coach at University of Texas at El Paso in 1962.
Phillips, who is most known for his coaching career at the professional level, joined the San Diego Chargers as a defensive coordinator in the late `60's. In 1973, Phillips took the same position with the Houston Oilers and was named the head coach and general manager two years later.
At the helm of the Oilers from 1975-1980, Phillips became the winningest coach in franchise history amassing a 59-38 record. Phillips led the Oilers to consecutive AFC Championship games in 1978 and 1979. Phillips also served as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints, before resigning from coaching in 1985.