Orange native Phillips, Rams heading to Super Bowl

Published 10:36 am Monday, January 21, 2019

Orange native Wade Phillips has coached his way into another Super Bowl after the Los Angeles Rams squeaked past the New Orleans Saints 26-23 in the NFC Championship Game.

Phillips, the Rams’ Defensive Coordinator, will now lead his defensive charges against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl in Atlanta Sunday, Feb. 3.

Phillips, who was born in Orange on June 21, 1947.

A veteran coach entering his 41st NFL season, Phillips owns 36 years of experience as a defensive coordinator or head coach.

Phillips has also been a solid head coach in the league, posting a career mark of 83-69, including 35-24 with the Dallas Cowboys from 2007-2010.

Phillips has been a part of 21 different top-10 defensive units during his NFL career and has coached a total of 34 Pro Bowlers, including Pro Football Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea, Curley Culp, Rickey Jackson, Bruce Smith and Reggie White.

He is one of three individuals in NFL history to be named Assistant Coach of the Year multiple times by the Pro Football Writers of America, being honored with that distinction in 2011 with Houston and in 2015 with Denver. Phillips also received the Paul “Dr. Z” Zimmerman Award from the PFWA in 2016 (lifetime achievement as an NFL assistant coach).

Phillips began his NFL career as linebackers coach for his legendary father Bum Phillips and the Houston Oilers in 1976 before moving on to coach the club’s defensive line from 1977-80. Houston advanced to the AFC Championship Game in 1978 and 1979 as Elvin Bethea earned Pro Bowl selections following both of those years playing for Phillips.

Phillips, who has coached 49 years overall, spent three years as the defensive coordinator at Stark High School (1970-72). He played linebacker at Port Neches-Groves High School.

Phillips and his wife, Laurie, have a son, Wesley, the tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins, and a daughter, Tracy, who is a professional actress, dancer and choreographer in Hollywood, Calif.