Bum Phillips was one of the more interesting coaches to walk the sidelines for an NFL team. He first gained notoriety in the mid to late 1970s as the head coach of the Houston Oilers, though he had been a successful defensive coordinator in the league before that. He had a very successful run as head coach of the Oilers for six seasons, and then followed that up with a five year run as the head coach of the New Orleans Saints that did not go nearly as well.
Some interesting facts about legendary head coach Bum Phillips:
-His son Wade Phillips was an assistant on his staff in New Orleans and would take over for his father when he resigned as head coach of the team in the middle of the 1985 season. The younger Phillips would go on to be defensive coordinator and head coach for other NFL teams during his career as well.
-Bum Phillips’ real first name is Oail.
-Bum Phillips voluntarily interrupted his college career and enlisted in the United States Marines after the United States was attacked at Pearl Harbor at the beginning of World War II.
-Bum Phillips played football in college for Lamar University before entering the war and for Stephen F. Austin after returning from war.
-Bum Phillips spent the entire 1950s and most of the 1960s coaching at various high schools and colleges all over Texas including Jacksonville, Amarillo, Nederland, and Port Neches-Groves High Schools; as well as at Texas A&M, Southern Methodist University, UTEP, and the University of Houston.
-At the time that Bum Phillips left Houston, he was the Oilers all time winningest head coach with a record of 59-38.
-Bum Phillips was known for wearing a cowboy hat on the sidelines, but he never wore it when his team played indoors, including the Astrodome in Houston and the Superdome in New Orleans. He would regularly claim that his mother raised him to not wear hats indoors.
-The final game that Bum Phillips coached, a 30-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in 1985, was the first start of quarterback Bobby Hebert’s career.
-Bum Phillips’ time in Houston gave him a winning record by a good margin, 59-38 including playoff games. His time in New Orleans would not be as successful and would see him go 27-42 and never make the playoffs.