Wade Phillips

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wade Phillips
Candid photograph of Phillips standing with arms akimbo on a football field wearing a dark blue jacket with a Dallas Cowboys logo
Phillips in 2007
Denver Broncos
Position: Defensive coordinator
Personal information
Date of birth: (1947-06-21) June 21, 1947 (age 69)
Place of birth: Orange, Texas
Career information
High school: Port Neches–Groves (TX)
College: Houston
Career history
As coach:
Career highlights and awards
Head coaching record
Regular season: 82–61 (.573)
Postseason: 1–5 (.167)
Career: 83–66 (.557)
Coaching stats at PFR

Harold Wade Phillips (born June 21, 1947)[1] is an American football coach who is the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos of the National Football League (NFL). He is the former head coach of the NFL's Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Dallas Cowboys. He was also an interim head coach for the New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, and the Houston Texans. His career winning percentage as a head coach is .562.

Personal life[edit]

Wade is the son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips and Helen Wilson Phillips.[2] He adored his father, both personally and professionally, stating, "I was blessed to have him as a father and coach. I got to coach with him for 11 years. He taught me everything I know about coaching. He taught me right and wrong. He taught me to enjoy life." [3] Wade and wife Laurie met in 1964 at Port Neches–Groves High School, where he was the quarterback of the football team and she was the head cheerleader;[2] they have a daughter, Tracy, an actress, dancer and choreographer living in Southern California, and a son, Wes, who is the tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins.

Wade has said this on his personal drive: "Winning is why we play and coach—our team and our fans is why we continue that quest."

Playing career[edit]

Phillips attended Port Neches–Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas, and went on to the University of Houston, where he was a three-year starter at linebacker from 1966–68. He held the school record for career assisted tackles[4] (228) until 2011 when the record was broken by Marcus McGraw.[5]

Coaching career[edit]

Phillips began his coaching career as graduate assistant to Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston in 1969. From 1970–72 he served as defensive coordinator at the former Lutcher Stark High School (now West Orange-Stark High School) in Orange, Texas. He then coached the linebackers at Oklahoma State University from 1973–1974, under his father who was OSU defensive coordinator at that time. In 1975, Phillips coached the defensive line at the University of Kansas under head coach Bud Moore .[2]

NFL coaching[edit]

Phillips began his professional coaching career in Houston as the linebackers coach in 1976 for the team coached by his father, as well as defensive line coach in 1977–1980.

Wade remained on his father's staff as the pair headed for New Orleans. Bum stepped down as head coach of a struggling Saints team in late 1985, and Wade stepped in as interim head coach.

Wade spent the next three years as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles.

Wade then spent four seasons as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos. The Broncos reached Super Bowl XXIV where they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 55-10. Phillips replaced Dan Reeves as head coach for the Broncos in 1993, but was fired after a mediocre 1994 season in which management felt he lost control of the team.

Phillips enjoyed a successful coaching stop at Buffalo. He always kept the team competitive and in the playoff hunt. A loss to the Titans in the 1999 playoffs haunted Phillips for the rest of his time at Buffalo. Prior to the game, Wade caused a controversy when he inserted Rob Johnson as starting quarterback, after Doug Flutie was the starter the whole year and led the team to the playoffs.

Before the 2007 season,[6] Phillips was named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, replacing the retired Bill Parcells. This was the most successful coaching stop for Phillips. He was chosen after Jerry Jones interviewed 10 potential replacements, including former Cowboys and former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and former Cowboys quarterback Jason Garrett. In the 2007 NFL Playoffs, he led the Cowboys to another playoff loss, making his playoff record 0–5. The Cowboys failed to make the playoffs in 2008, as the season ended with a 44–6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, preventing a wild card playoff berth.

Prior to the 2009 season, Phillips also took over as defensive coordinator, replacing the fired Brian Stewart. Phillips called defensive plays for the final 10 games of the 2008 season after Stewart was stripped of the responsibilities.[7] In the 2009–10 playoffs,[8] Phillips's Cowboys defeated the Eagles in the wild card round, ending the club's 12 year playoff win drought (6 games total, Phillips was only coach for one of those losses) and earning Phillips his first playoff win.[9] Following the 2009 season, Phillips signed a contract extension through the 2011 season.[10] However, he was fired by the Cowboys on 8 November 2010 following the second worst start in franchise history (one win in their first eight games) punctuated by a 45–7 loss to the Green Bay Packers.[11]

Prior to the 2011 season,[12] Phillips was hired as the defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans replacing Frank Bush, who was released by Texans owner Bob McNair.[13] The Texans defense made major improvements on defense in Phillips's first year calling Houston's defense. Houston allowed the fourth-fewest points in the league in 2011 (compared to fourth most in 2010), the second-fewest yards allowed (third-most in 2010) and third-fewest yards per play (4.8, compared to 6.0, second-worst in 2010). On 3 November 2013, Texans Head Coach Gary Kubiak collapsed at the end of the first half of the Texans-Colts game, he was then hospitalized at a local hospital. In Kubiak's absence, Phillips was given the head coaching duties as the acting head coach for the remainder of the game. On 6 November 2013, the Texans, and Kubiak decided to temporarily hand Phillips the head coaching duties, and named him the interim head coach until Kubiak was medically cleared to return. Exactly one month later, Kubiak was fired after his team had lost 11 games in a row. Once again, Phillips served as interim head coach for the Texans until the end of the season, when former Penn State head coach and New England Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien was hired as the new head coach.[14] When Phillips was dismissed by Houston, this ended a continuous run where he had coached football at the high school, college, and NFL levels.[15]

On 28 January 2015, Phillips joined Gary Kubiak's staff at the Denver Broncos as the defensive coordinator; Phillips' second stint at that position with the team. Phillips replaced his predecessor's complex wait-and-react scheme with a simple style of going after the ball, making Denver the top-ranked defense that season which carried the team to a 12-4 record and the number one seed in the AFC despite their offensive struggles. In Super Bowl 50, played on 7 February 2016, in Santa Clara, California, the game was seen by some as a contest between Phillips and Carolina Panthers offensive coordinator Mike Shula, as both of them were sons of well-known NFL coaches, and as the Carolina had the top-ranked offense in the 2015 regular season.[2] Denver's defense shut down Carolina and Cam Newton in a 24-10 victory, giving Phillips the first Super Bowl of his career.[15]

Phillips has the distinction of having been replaced by a father and a son from two head coaching positions – by Jim Mora at the New Orleans Saints and by Jim Mora Jr. at the Atlanta Falcons. He also has twice replaced Dan Reeves as a head coach.

Head coaching record[edit]

Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NO* 1985 1 3 0 .250 3rd in NFC West
NO Total 1 3 0 .250
DEN 1993 9 7 0 .562 3rd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Los Angeles Raiders in AFC Wild-Card Game
DEN 1994 7 9 0 .437 4th in AFC West
DEN Total 16 16 0 .500 0 1 .000
BUF 1998 10 6 0 .625 3rd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Miami Dolphins in AFC Wild-Card Game
BUF 1999 11 5 0 .687 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Tennessee Titans in AFC Wild-Card Game
BUF 2000 8 8 0 .500 4th in AFC East
BUF Total 29 19 0 .604 0 2 .000
ATL* 2003 2 1 0 .667 4th in NFC South
ATL Total 2 1 0 .667
DAL 2007 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game
DAL 2008 9 7 0 .562 3rd in NFC East
DAL 2009 11 5 0 .687 1st in NFC East 1 1 .500 Lost to the Minnesota Vikings in NFC Divisional Game
DAL 2010 1 7 0 .125 3rd in NFC East Fired in mid-season
DAL Total 34 22 0 .607 1 2 .333
HOU* 2013 0 3 0 .000 4th in AFC South
HOU Total 0 3 0 .000
Total[16] 82 64 0 .562 1 5 .167

* – Interim head coach

References[edit]

External links[edit]