|Born:||September 29, 1923|
|Died:||October 18, 2013 (aged 90)|
|College:||Stephen F. Austin|
|As a coach:|
|Head coaching record|
|Regular season:||NFL: 82-77 (.516)|
|Postseason:||NFL: 4-3 (.571)|
|Career:||NFL: 86-80 (.518)|
NCAA: 4-5 (.444)
|Coaching stats at PFR|
Oail Andrew "Bum" Phillips Jr. (September 29, 1923 - October 18, 2013) was an American football coach at the high school, college and professional levels. He served as head coach in the National Football League (NFL) for the Houston Oilers from 1975 to 1980 and the New Orleans Saints from 1981 to 1985. He was the father of NFL coach Wade Phillips.
After he returned from the war, Phillips completed the remaining year on his degree at Lamar (a junior college at the time), and enrolled at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas, lettering in football in 1948 and 1949 and graduating with a degree in education in 1949.
His college coaching stints included serving as an assistant coach at Texas A&M University (for Bear Bryant), the University of Houston (for Bill Yeoman), Southern Methodist University (for Hayden Fry), and Oklahoma State University with Jim Stanley. He was the head coach at the University of Texas at El Paso for one season in 1962.
In the late 1960s, Phillips was hired by Sid Gillman to serve as a defensive assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers. In 1973, Gillman became head coach of the Houston Oilers, and he brought Phillips with him as his defensive coordinator.
In 1975, Phillips was named head coach and general manager of the Oilers, and he served in that capacity through 1980. As coach of the Oilers, he presided over the team's most successful era since its days in the American Football League. Under Phillips, the Oilers reached the AFC Championship Game in two consecutive seasons, losing to the Super Bowl champion Pittsburgh Steelers 34-5 in 1978 and 27-13 in 1979. Both teams were members of the competitive AFC Central Division and thus played three times in both 1978 and 1979, fueling an intense rivalry. During this period of league-wide AFC dominance, some commentators considered the Oilers and Steelers to be the two best teams in the NFL. Phillips remarked at the time, "The road to the Super Bowl goes through Pittsburgh."
Phillips was fired on New Year's Eve 1980 by Oilers owner Bud Adams. Phillips was fired because he failed to report a player's in season recreational drug use to Adams until after the season ended. His 59 wins would be the most in franchise history until Jeff Fisher passed him in 2001 (by then, the team had become the Tennessee Titans). Soon afterward, he was hired by New Orleans Saints owner John Mecom Jr. as head coach and general manager of the Saints, serving from 1981 through the first 12 games of the 1985 season. As in his coaching tenure with the Oilers, Phillips took off his trademark Stetson inside the Louisiana Superdome. In 1983, his Saints went into the final week needing one more win to secure the first winning season and playoff berth in franchise history. The Rams beat the Saints for the final playoff spot in week 16, 26-24 on Mike Lansford's 42-yard field goal with 00:02 to play.
Phillips resigned as Saints coach on November 25, 1985, one day after a 30-23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, 12 games into the season. His son, Wade, would take over the coaching reins on an interim basis for the remaining four games of the 1985 season. The Saints defeated the Rams 29-3 in Wade Phillips' first game at the helm, but finished with losses to the Cardinals, 49ers and Falcons.
His son, Wade Phillips, has also held assistant and head coaching jobs in the NFL and was the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys from February 2007 to November 2010. Wade was hired by the Houston Texans on January 5, 2011, as their new defensive coordinator almost exactly 30 years after his father was terminated by Oilers owner Bud Adams on December 28, 1980, after the Oilers failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs. Wade won a Super Bowl title at Super Bowl 50 with the Denver Broncos as defensive coordinator, and was the defensive coordinator of the Los Angeles Rams who advanced to Super Bowl LIII and later parted ways with the Rams following the 2019 season.
His grandson Wes is also an NFL assistant coach.
In 2010, he published his memoirs, Bum Phillips: Coach, Cowboy, Christian.
Phillips died at his ranch in Goliad, Texas, on October 18, 2013, at the age of 90. He was survived by his second wife, Debbie, and six children from his first marriage along with almost two dozen grandchildren.
In honor of Bum Phillips coaching both Nederland and Port Neches-Groves High Schools, the rivalry game between his two favorite schools will now be named the Bum Phillips Bowl.
Phillips was known for his trademark Stetson cowboy hat on the sidelines, except when the Oilers played in the Astrodome or other domed stadiums. He stated that his mother taught him not to wear a hat indoors; his former boss Bear Bryant similarly refused to wear his trademark houndstooth hat during indoor games. Phillips wore his cowboy hat with blue jeans and a button down shirt, in contrast to Dallas Cowboys head coach Tom Landry who wore a suit and tie with his trademark fedora.
Besides his trademark cowboy hat, Phillips is also known for his colorful quotes, such that Sports Illustrated noted that Wikipedia had a whole section of his page dedicated to these quips. In the week leading up to Super Bowl LIII, his son Wade was quoted as saying "Unfortunately, I get older but Tom Brady doesn't," while sporting the elder Phillip's sheepskin coat and cowboy hat as the Los Angeles Rams arrived in Atlanta.
|Texas Western Miners (NCAA University Division independent) (1962)|
|Won||Lost||Ties||Win %||Finish||Won||Lost||Win %||Result|
|HOU||1975||10||4||0||.714||3rd in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|HOU||1976||5||9||0||.357||4th in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|HOU||1977||8||6||0||.571||2nd in AFC Central||-||-||-||-|
|HOU||1978||10||6||0||.571||2nd in AFC Central||2||1||.667||Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game.|
|HOU||1979||11||5||0||.688||2nd in AFC Central||2||1||.667||Lost to Pittsburgh Steelers in AFC Championship Game.|
|HOU||1980||11||5||0||.688||2nd in AFC Central||0||1||.000||Lost to Oakland Raiders in AFC Wild-Card Game.|
|NO||1981||4||12||0||.250||4th in NFC West||-||-||-||-|
|NO||1982||4||5||0||.444||9th in NFC||-||-||-||-|
|NO||1983||8||8||0||.500||3rd in NFC West||-||-||-||-|
|NO||1984||7||9||0||.438||3rd in NFC West||-||-||-||-|