The New Orleans Saints family lost a legendary member on Friday when former Houston Oilers and New Orleans Saints coach Bum Phillips died at his home at the age of 90.
Phillips was the first coach in franchise history to lead the Saints to a non-losing season. Larry Holder of NOLA.com has the details:
Phillips couldn’t replicate the same success in New Orleans after being fired by the Oilers after the 1980 season. He never guided the Saints to a winning record going 27-42 in New Orleans, but Phillips did help put together one of the best draft classes in Saints history in 1981 by selecting players like Rickey Jackson, George Rogers, Frank Warren, Hoby Brenner, Jim Wilks and Hokie Gajan.
Saints owner Tom Benson released a statement early this morning:
“We are saddened by the passing of Bum Phillips,” Saints owner Tom Benson said in a statement. “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.”
And honestly, this is one of the best football stories you’ll ever read:
“I remember getting a call from Bum Phillips after I was drafted (1982) and he asked me if I liked Budweiser and country music,” former Saints kicker Morten Andersen said in a 2009 interview. “Those were the first words out of his mouth. So, lying through my teeth, I said, ‘Yes sir, ‘ because everybody knows I like Abba and Merlot.”
Phillips was an elite football mind, but a better human being. Who Dat nation lost a good one today.
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