father, Bum Phillips, one of the most
colorful NFL characters of all-time, has
lived an equally compelling life.
Sept. 29, 1923:
Bum is born Oail Andrew Phillips. Later, he
receives his famous nickname from a
stuttering sister who couldn't pronounce
Oail (said O-L).
Receives a whipping three nights in a row
from his father, who discourages the high
school freshman from playing football. A
broken leg keeps a teen from working on the
ranch, his father reasoned.
Sept. 29, 1941:
Enlists in the U.S. Marines on his birthday.
Serves in the South Pacific during World War
1950: Lands his
first coaching job as an assistant at
Nederland High School.
by the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant as an
assistant coach at Texas A&M.
coaching stints all across Texas, is hired
by Sid Gillman to serve as defensive
coordinator for the San Diego Chargers.
head coach of the Houston Oilers. Quickly
leads ailing team to consecutive AFC
five seasons as head coach of the New
Orleans Saints, retires from professional
“Football is a
game of failure,” Phillips said. “You fail
all the time, but you aren’t a failure until
you start blaming someone else.” That
willingness to shoulder responsibility made
Bum a fan and player favorite wherever he
went. He was an instant hit when he took
over as head coach of the New Orleans Saints
in 1980. He transformed the Saint’s
NFL-worst defense into a unit that finished
among the top-five defenses in the league
over the next five years.
Having rebuilt the
Saints franchise through innovative scouting
techniques and astute drafting, Bum retired
from coaching in 1985 and returned to his
first love, ranching. His son, Wade, who is
the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, and Wade’s son Wesley, who is the offensive
quality control coach for the Cowboys, carry
on Bum’s coaching legacy.
has retired from football, he hasn’t quit
working. He and his wife Debbie operate a
250-acre horse and cattle ranch in Goliad
County, Texas where they live since 1995. He
does advertising and motivational speaking
and works in literally hundreds of charity
events with his main focus being the Mike
Barber Ministries and Coaches Outreach
In addition to
the prison ministry and other charitable
work, the Phillipses vow to better help
connect deaf children with their parents,
who often struggle with American Sign
Goliad daughter and son-in-law, Kimann and
Mark England, founded Heart Sign, which
provides classes, workshops, retreats and
camps for anyone who wishes to learn sign
language. Phillips agreed to donate a chunk
of his land for use as the foundation of a
future charity headquarters and camp.
and their families are a source of great
pride and joy as they love the Lord and walk
in His way. They all have great families
that include 23 grandchildren and two great-
grandchildren. Wade is the firstborn and
daughters are Susan Phillips, Cicely DeVore,
DeeJean Hurta, Andrea McCarthy, and Kimann