Texans, Titans, Saints remember Bum Phillips


Bum Phillips, the former NFL head coach who died on Friday, is being remembered today by the teams he coached and by a city where he was a beloved figure.

Phillips coached the Houston Oilers from 1975 to 1980, and Bud Adams, the owner who moved the Oilers to Tennessee and changed their name to the Titans, released a statement today memorializing Phillips.

“We are very sad to hear of the passing of Bum Phillips,” Adams said. “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. 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. Our thoughts are with his family, and we know he will be missed.”

Saints owner Tom Benson described Phillips as a great coach and a friend.

“We are saddened by the passing of Bum Phillips,” Benson said. “I had the opportunity to work with him when I first purchased the team in 1985 and also enjoyed our friendship following his coaching career. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Debbie, Wade and the rest of his family.”

Although Phillips was out of coaching before the Houston Texans expansion franchise came into existence, he may be most fondly remembered in Houston, where his son Wade is now the Texans’ defensive coordinator.

This was a great man,” a story on the Texans’ website says. “A Marine, a football coach, a father. There will never be another like him. The standard he set in Houston sports history goes far beyond success on the field. Bum Phillips will forever be celebrated as a hard working, caring, successful American. He will forever be remembered as a true Texan.”

Phillips, whose coaching career spanned more than 30 years in high school, college and the NFL, will be remembered as a fine man and a fine coach.

17 responses to “Texans, Titans, Saints remember Bum Phillips

  1. A great Bum quote when a reporter asked him about Earl Campbell not being able to finish a mile run during preseason:

    “When it’s first and a mile, I won’t give it to him.”

  2. The year was 1997, the first season the Oilers relocated to Tennessee. Either the team’s marketing department or a bunch of zealous Texas-transplant fans (I was never clear on which) attempted to resurrect “Love Ya Blue.”

    We didn’t go for it. We knew that wasn’t ours. That belonged to Bum and the city of Houston. Props to them both.

    -Titans fan since Memphis

  3. Been a die hard fan of the Oilers/Titans since ’78, mostly due to Earl Campbell and the coach who cared more about his players and team than he ever did about the media or public opinion. A fond farewell to Bum Phillips, the stoic coach who stalked the sideline in his 10-gallon hat. Luv ya blue!

  4. when I was in high school – my school hosted one of the teams for the Senior Bowl practice. Head coaches were hard to get to for autographs – Bum was not only glad to give me his autograph (told me he didn’t know why I wanted his) – but walked me around to other guys and asked for me – what a great guy! GOD bless/welcome you Bum & your family…

  5. RIP Bum. Loved watching him coach, and watching his teams play.

    My favorite Bum quote: “Earl Campbell may not be in a class by himself, but it sure doesn’t take long to call roll.”

  6. I remember a reporter in New Orleans questioning Bum on why he gave up a number one pick to bring in Earl Campbell to the Saints. The reporter said to Bum “you must love Earl to give up a number 1 for him”. Bum replied ” I don’t love Earl, I love my wife but I wouldn’t give a number 1 for her”.

  7. I started loving the NFL towards the end of his tenure in Houston and I absolutely love Bum. I still use some of his quotes to this day (“nod n grin”, has helped me through many occasions when I wanted figuratively to rip someone’s head off). I’m mad I lost that book I had with all his quotes in it. Besides being a fun loving and life loving man all the way through his life, he was well respected. As much as I love the NFL and as entertaining as he was as a coach, those things are his true legacies.

    I’ll close with a paraphrase of one of his comments when he was asked if Earl Campbell was in a class by himself that is also suitable as a tribute to him. “He may not have been in a class by himself, but whatever class he’s in, it doesn’t take long to call the roll.”

    RIP, coach.

  8. Steeler fan since 1978. Bum was a man among boys. If you cannot respect what this football deity has done for coaches, players and fans, quite frankly, you should take up basket weaving. The Phillips family should be in any football fans thoughts at this time. We can only hope Bum’s passion for the game carries on…

  9. Luv Ya Blue, Bum was a Great coach , knock the door down Bum, I will always remember the Oilers playing MNF, that was awesome with the blue and white along with the fight song

  10. “A good coach can take his’n and beat your’n, then he can take your’n and beat his’n” – Bum Phillips

    He was a shade more than a good coach!

    Thanks for the memories Bum! – A Viking fan

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