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Coaching legend Bum Phillips passed away on Friday

Bum Phillips, the legendary and colorful football coach, passed away late Friday night. He was 90. 

Born Oail Andrew Phillips on September 29, 1923, Phillips was a lifelong Texan. He was born in the southeast Texas town of Orange, attended Lamar and Stephen F. Austin, and coached his way up the Texas high school ranks at Nederland, Jacksonville, Amarillo, Port Neches-Groves, with assistant stops at Texas A&M and Houston and one year as Texas Western's (now UTEP) head coach. 

After forays outside the state as an assistant with the San Diego Chargers and Oklahoma State, Phillips became the Houston Oilers' defensive coordinator and was elevated to head coach a year later. “Me and Bum are as alike as two piles of cow manure,” Ken Stabler said upon his joining of the Oilers. “The guy is just an unpretentious cowboy who happens to be a football coach.”

In six seasons in Houston, Phillips guided the Oilers to a 55-35 mark and back-to-back trips to the AFC Championship game. He was fired after the 1980 season.

“There’s two kinds of coaches,” Phillips once said. “Them that’s fired and them that’s gonna be fired.”

In 1981, he took over the New Orleans Saints and led the downtrodden franchise to a 27-42 record and the first playoff appearance in club history before his retirement in 1985.

Phillips went to do television and radio work before retiring to his ranch in Goliad, Texas, where he passed away Friday night.

Author: Zach Barnett
Zach Barnett is a native of Denton, Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas. He joined FootballScoop in 2012 after two years at the National Football Foundation. His hobbies include watching college football, reading about college football and writing about college football.