Bum Phillips dies - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Football coach Bum Phillips dies at 90; known for Stetsons, humorous truisms

Posted:
Highlights
  • "He became an iconic figure on our sideline," says Titans owner
  • He led the Houston Oilers to glory in the late 70s, then gave the Saints a try
  • He retired from pro football in 1985 and went to his Texas ranch
  • "Bum," a term of endearment given by his sister who stuttered, meant "brother"

By Ben Brumfield

(CNN) -- A Texas white hat has crossed through the pearly gates.

"Bum" Phillips, the former NFL football coach who led the Houston Oilers to glory and struggled with the New Orleans Saints, died Friday at age 90.

"Bum is gone to Heaven-loved and will be missed by all -great Dad, Coach, and Christian," tweeted his son Wade Phillips, himself defensive coordinator for the Houston Texans.

Phillips' white Stetson cowboy hat was hard to miss, though he didn't wear it in domed stadiums -- his mother had told him never to wear his hat indoors.

His nickname stuck out like a sore thumb, especially whenever his team's stakes were down and fans weren't being nice about it.

He was born Oail Andrew Phillips in 1923, but his older sister stuttered and couldn't say "brother." It came out wrong, and the affectionate nickname was born, according to an official biography.

It was an term of endearment that had no derogatory meaning.

Bumisms But Phillips' true trademark were the deadpan sayings he regularly dropped, fully original and spiced with humor and gritty truisms. They got him laughed at sometimes and admired at other times for their grains of truth.

They were coined "Bumisms."

His most famous one: "There's two kinds of coaches, them that's fired and them that's gonna be fired."

He once told sportscaster Bob Costas that he took his wife on away games "because she's too ugly to kiss goodbye," the NFL said.

Phillips started his career in the 1950s as a high school coach, according to the NFL. He joined the Oilers in 1974 as defensive coordinator, when they were defeated and down, then advanced to head coach and in the late 1970s turned them into a winning team.

The Oilers are now the Tennessee Titans and Houston's team is now the Texans.

He had a reputation for being an affectionate motivator. The NFL ranked him among the 10 most motivational coaches in professional football history.

Saints struggle

In 1981, Phillips -- wearing cowboy boots -- moved to New Orleans and tightened up the Saints' defense. Two years later, he led them to their second-ever non-losing season -- an 8-8 record, but he didn't have the same level of success that he had enjoyed in Houston.

In 1985, he resigned to dedicate himself to ranching, his family and Christian charities, and didn't seem to miss football too much.

"I still love football," he told the NFL. "You can't do something for 50 years and not love it, but I love it where it's at, and I love where I'm at" -- his ranch in Goliad, Texas.

According to local news reports, that's where he died.

"He meant a great deal to this franchise, the NFL and the city of Houston, and he was instrumental to the Oilers during the 'Luv Ya Blue' era," said Titans owner K.S. "Bud" Adams Jr., in a statement, referring to the late 1970s movement by Oilers' fans. "Growing up in Texas and working his way up through the Texas football ranks, he was a natural match for our team. Those were such magical years, and his leadership and personality helped our team rise to the top. He became an iconic figure on our sideline."

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2013 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsMore>>

  • Jacksonville Communications Officer Killed in One Vehicle Crash

    Jacksonville Communications Officer Killed in One Vehicle Crash

    Monday, April 14 2014 11:31 PM EDT2014-04-15 03:31:53 GMT
    SMITH COUNTY (KYTX) -- DPS says a woman is dead after a crash Monday afternoon.  It happened just before 2:00 p.m. at the intersection of Mixon Road and Yarborough Lane in Smith County.  At this pointMore >>
    A Jacksonville Police communications officer has died after a crash Monday afternoon.
    More >>
  • Family remembers Fort Hood shooting victim with Illinois ties

    Family remembers Fort Hood shooting victim with Illinois ties

    Thursday, April 3 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-04-04 02:35:25 GMT
    EFFINGHAM (WCIA)  -- One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham.  Owens'More >>
    One of the victims in a deadly shooting in Fort Hood went to school in central Illinois. Family members say 37-year-old Army Sergeant Tim Owens went to Southside Elementary in Effingham.More >>
  • One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    One year after bombing, Boston beefs up security for famed marathon

    Kris Biagiotti pushes her special-needs daughter, Kayla, in a jogging stroller during the Boston Marathon in 2013.Kris Biagiotti pushes her special-needs daughter, Kayla, in a jogging stroller during the Boston Marathon in 2013.
    (BOSTON)- Monday sees the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and the firstsince the attack last year that killed three spectators.On Sunday evening, security preparations were front and center along with the runners and 1 million people who will watch the storied race.For blocks in downtown Boston, a ring of steel barricades cordons off where Monday's race will end. Some 3,500 cops will protect the marathon course, double least year's police presence. Spectators have been told to bring no ...More >>
    (BOSTON)- Monday sees the 118th running of the Boston Marathon, and the firstsince the attack last year that killed three spectators.On Sunday evening, security preparations were front and center along with the runners and 1 million people who will watch the storied race.For blocks in downtown Boston, a ring of steel barricades cordons off where Monday's race will end. Some 3,500 cops will protect the marathon course, double least year's police presence. Spectators have been told to bring no ...More >>
Powered by WorldNow

CBS19, MYTX & KCEB
2211 ESE Loop 323
Tyler, TX 75701
Phone (903) 581-2211
Fax (903) 581-5769

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2004 - 2014, WorldNow and KYTX, Owned and Operated by London Broadcasting Company.
All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.