, Port Arthur, Texas


October 19, 2013

Bum Phillips quotepad

PORT ARTHUR —     Listed below are a series of memorable quotes from and about Bum Phillips

    “There are two kinds of coaches — them that’s been fired and them that’s gonna be fired.” — Bum on the realities of being a coach.

    “I’ve met and dined with United States presidents, movie stars and musicians, but Bear Bryant was the most captivating, impressive person I’ve ever met. He could walk into a room and everyone sat up.” — Bum on Bear Bryant.

    “I got written up four times by superiors, which might explain why I entered as a private and left as a private.” — Bum on his days as a solider during World War II.

    “Don’t ever hold a grudge against a kid. They’re going to screw up. If he screws up, correct him right then and there and leave it on the field.” — Bum, reflecting on what a mistake he once made by kicking a player off his team at Nederland.

    “Bum is a genius and I don’t just mean on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. He’s one of the smartest coaches there ever was. He was way ahead of his time.” — Former SMU, North Texas  and University of Iowa head coach Hayden Fry.

    “People like people who are honest, and Bum’s about as honest as it gets. There is no pretense, no hidden agenda. He’s not hypocritical and politically correct Iike a lot of coaches. With him, what you see is what you get. To me, he’s the football version of Abe Lemmons.” — Former Lamar University basketball coach Billy Tubbs.

    “The thing that impressed  me was what a bright person Bum was. He gave you that slow talking, country act, but he was very shrewd. He understood people about as well as anybody I’ve ever seen. And his football knowledge was remarkable. He put in the defense they ran at Nederland and it was so innovative we still use the same basic system at Alabama.” — Bear Bryant.

    “He could take a conservative kid out of Utah, put him with a kid who grew up in the projects in Pittsburgh, a guy from Southern California and a from the Deep South, and it didn’t matter what color their skin, how big they were and what their talent level was. He would bring them together as a team.” — Former Houston Oiler QB Giff Nielsen.

    “He’s unique, and I think the reason for that is in spite of all the places he’s been, he’s never lost the qualities he started with. He never puts on airs. He’d be awfully upset if anybody accused him of it.” — Former Nederland coach and then Alvin High School superintendent Emmitt McKenzie.

    “Today, when  he walks into a prison, he can turn that prison upside down. He can say more in two minutes than I can say in two hours. Why? Because of who he is.” — Former Houston Oiler tight end Mike Barber, who has a prison ministry and sometimes took Phillips with him.

    “The image of a football coach has always been that you scream and holler and get in their face to make them better. But daddy always thought and taught that teaching was the most important thing. Lead a horse to water instead of pushing him there. Cussing out a guy doesn’t make him better. Because of my dad, and because I think he coached the right way, I think I coach the right way.” — Wade Phillips.

    “He had a rapport with players like no coach I’ve ever seen.” — Author and former Nederland High School coach Neil Morgan.

    “Bum never had a secret. He’d open his files to anybody who stopped by to talk football. He was just totally unselfish. What always amazed me was that he didn’t take credit for very much. He designed the 27 defense, but you’d never know it.” — Former PAISD athletic director Howland Reich

    “Not only would he come to Lincoln and visit, he’d invite me out to Port Neches. It wasn’t the fashionable thing to do in those days, but I don’t think Bum every saw color. I’m sure he didn’t care what anybody else thought about him working with the coach at Lincoln.” A.Z. McElroy, of the help Phillips gave him in the early 1960s.

    “Most of all, what I remember is Lamar got a lot more responsible human being when I returned from the war. I wasn’t worth much before the war, but I came back a lot more mature and dependable. I did think I should have been a running back, but Ted (Jeffries) played me in the line.” Bum on playing football at Lamar.

    “What I know for sure is that God looked out for me. I struggled with faith at that moment, though, because it seemed there were a lot of people he didn’t look out for. Watching them die planted a question in my head that went unanswered for years.” Bum, on how all the death he saw in World War II impacted him.

    “What for. You can’t practice being miserable.” Bum, when asked why he didn’t bring his Oilers to town a couple of days early  to practice in freezing rain and snow before the 1978 AFC Championship game in Pittsburgh.

    “One year ago we knocked on the door. This year we beat on the door. Next year we’re gonna kick the sumbitch in.” — Bum after Houston’s back-to-back losses to Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship Game.

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  • Bassmaster Elites are coming back

    The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
    The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
    I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
    It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
    • Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
    Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
    Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
    • East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
    • Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
    • Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
     It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
    The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
    We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
    It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
    (To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on

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From the Fieldhouse blog