Wade Phillips, an Orange native and Port Neches-Groves graduate, will be one of eight head coaches to lead an XFL team later this season.
The XFL has announced that Phillips will manage one of the teams. Bob Stoops, Terrell Buckley, Hines Ward, Rod Woodson, Reggie Barlow, Anthony Becht and Jim Haslett were also announced as head coaches.
Phillips was the head coach of six NFL franchises from 1985 to 2013.
The PNG graduate was the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos in 2016 when the team won a Super Bowl. He also served as the Rams’ defensive coordinator in 2018 when the Rams lost 13-3 to the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
The XFL statement did not indicate where the coaches would land, and Phillips said Port Arthur Newsmedia the league is not doing individual interviews at this time.
Phillips is inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame at the Museum of the Gulf Coast. Director Tom Neal said he would be more than willing to add more room to Phillips’ exhibit.
“It’s kind of like all those singers crying to come back in front of the crowd after being locked up for a few years,” Neal said. “They missed being out there and doing what they loved to do. I imagine that’s how it is for Wade.
Neal said he was hosting an out-of-state couple at the museum this week who lived in Denver during Phillips’ tenure with the Broncos.
“I’m so happy for him,” Neal said. “He has so much to offer. He comes here at least once a year for his dad’s award for high school coach of the year. You appreciate someone like that and you hope to see good things happen for people like that.
Netherlands head coach Monte Barrow won the Bum Phillips Coach of the Year award last year. Phillips presented the ring to Barrow and follows the Madness Mid County rivalry between Nederland and his alma mater.
“I think when it’s in you, it stays in you,” Barrow said. “Even when guys retire, there’s still so much about them that loves what they do. I think it’s something he’s going to really enjoy. I don’t think he’ll have to deal with it. as much as he did as an NFL coach. At his age and as long as he’s done it, what’s left is the football part.
Barrow said Phillips enjoyed spending time outdoors, but said he still wanted to continue coaching.
“There is something in football coaching where something has to happen,” he said. “There is an excitement and a competitive advantage. This is the most important thing. If you’re not competitive at something, it’s probably eating away at you. I imagine it’s eating away at him not finding a way to win a game and stop a fourth and one again.