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Wade Phillips, Jay Stone picked for induction into SETCA Hall of Honor; Local coaches win superlative awards

Former NFL defensive coordinator and head coach Wade Phillips and Nederland assistant baseball and football coach Jay Stone are among four individuals selected for induction into the Southeast Texas Coaches Association’s CHRISTUS/BBJ Hall of Honor.

The class will be inducted Jan. 30 at the MCM Eleganté in Beaumont starting at noon. Former East Chambers and Tatum head football coach Andy Evans and former Kountze, Nederland, Thomas Jefferson and Bridge City volleyball and basketball coach Rosetta Wilson Aarons will also be inducted.

Phillips’ father, Bum, was a head coach at Nederland and Port Neches-Groves High Schools in the 1950s and 1960s. Wade played under his father at PNG as a quarterback in the 1964 season before going on to play linebacker at the University of Houston.

The younger Phillips was graduate assistant at Houston in 1969 and began his career the next season at Lutcher-Stark High School in Orange, where he stayed for three seasons before entering the college ranks. He was a defensive coordinator for nine NFL teams between 1981 and 2019 and was head coach of the New Orleans Saints (interim, 1985), Denver Broncos (1993-94), Buffalo Bills (1998-2000), Atlanta Falcons (interim, 2003), Dallas Cowboys (2007-10) and Houston Texans (interim, 2013).

Phillips coached in three Super Bowls, all as a defensive coordinator, and won one with Denver in the 2015 season.

Stone, who graduated from Port Neches-Groves in 1977, played baseball at Lamar University and began his coaching career at Beaumont Charlton-Pollard High in 1981. He became a head coach at Orangefield in 1992 and won a coach-of-the-year honor in 1994.

Stone took over Nederland’s baseball program in 1995 and led the Bulldogs to three straight playoffs, earning a spot in the state semifinals in 1995 and 1997. He coached the South team in the 1995 Texas High School All-Star game.

Stone guided PNG to 13 straight playoff appearances (1998-2010), helping the Indians finish state runners-up in 2000 (lost title game to Calallen 8-6 in nine innings) and state semifinalists in 2004.

Aarons, a 1973 Kountze graduate, won 461 volleyball matches in 16 seasons, winning two championships at her alma mater between 1976 and 1980. She was head girls basketball coach at Nederland in the 1980-81 season, won six district titles at Jefferson between 1985-91 and six more at Bridge City between 1995-2001, reaching the state semifinals once. She retired as an elementary school teacher in Louisiana in 2017.

Evans built a 71-29 record at East Chambers from 1995-2003 and began a run at Tatum that included three straight state championship appearances from 2005-07, winning in his first two tries. He stepped down as coach in 2015.

Coaches of the year

Three Mid-Countians were named SETCA coaches of the year in their respective sports. Jerry Honza of PNG won the honor for boys golf, Aimee Bates of PNG won for girls soccer and Jorge Lopez of Nederland won for boys tennis.

Bridge City’s Chad Landry, who pitched under Stone at Nederland in the late 1990s, won the award for baseball.

Other honorees include:

Football: Brandon Prouse, Deweyville; volleyball: Tammy White, Huffman Hargrave; boys cross country, Kris Gilmore, Hargrave; girls cross country, Todd Sutherland, East Chambers; boys basketball: Jake McDonald, Orangefield; girls basketball: Mike Fogo, Hardin-Jefferson; softball: Rebekah Ragsdale, Orangefield; girls golf: Bart Williams, Little Cypress-Mauriceville; girls tennis: Diana Caston, Kirbyville; boys powerlifting: Justin Trahan, West Orange-Stark; girls powerlifting: Rodney Burks, Vidor; boys soccer: Jackie Brown, East Chambers; girls soccer: Aimee Bates, Port Neches-Groves; boys track: Chris Fontenot, East Chambers; girls track: Hiawatha Hickman, West Orange-Stark; and assistant coach of the year: Chris Fontenot, East Chambers.

Terry Falgot was named referee of the year. Ashly Elam of KBMT (ABC, channel 12) is the Van Thomas Media Person of the Year.