Oct. 19, 2013
Former college football standout, and NFL coaching great, Bum Phillips passed away Friday at the age of 90. The Texas coaching legend began his playing career at Lamar in 1941, before enlisting in the United States Marine Corps following the attack on Pearl Harbor, where he joined the elite Marine Raiders. Following his time with the Marines, Phillips returned to Beaumont to finish his degree at Lamar.
After his return from the war, Phillips went back to Beaumont and the game of football. He helped guide the Cardinals to one of their best seasons in school history. Lamar posted an 8-2 (.800) record that season which included six shutout victories. In 1977, Phillips was inducted into the Cardinal Hall of Honor.
Phillips began his coaching career in the 1950s working at several high schools across the state of Texas. He also had collegiate coaching stints at Texas A&M, Houston, SMU, and Oklahoma State and served as the head coach at UTEP in 1962.
Phillips is probably more recognizable for his work in the NFL. He was hired as a defensive assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers in the late `60s. In 1973, Phillips was hired as defensive coordinator by the Houston Oilers. The southeast Texas native was named head coach and general manager of the Oilers just two years later. Phillips became the winningest coach in franchise history posting a 59-38 record with the team. Phillips led the Oilers to consecutive AFC Championship games while in Houston. He also spent time in New Orleans as head coach of Saints.