Port Neches-Groves’ Jeff Joseph earns Bum Phillips coaching award; see the award details

Published 6:04 pm Wednesday, February 22, 2023

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Jeff Joseph of Port Neches-Groves, who made an eye-opening statement in his first season with the Indians, is the winner of the 4th Annual National Football Foundation Bum Phillips Golden Triangle High School Coach of the Year Award.

Joseph, an assistant at Southlake Lake Carroll in 2021, guided PNG to a 13-3 record and its first appearance in the state finals since 1999. The Indians, after placing second in district, roared through the playoffs before losing to Dallas South Oak Cliff in the 5A Division II title game.

In recognition of the honor, Joseph is being presented a Balfour ring designed in Phillips’ image.

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The presentation will be made at 2 p.m. Thursday/March 2 in the Museum of the Gulf Coast. The public is encouraged to attend.

Normally Bum’s son Wade Phillips, who played for his dad at PNG in the mid-1960s, comes in to make the ring presentation. Wade, however, is busy coaching the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL.

Former Thomas Jefferson High School quarterback and legendary coach Todd Dodge will also be inducted into the Museum of the Gulf Coast Hall of Fame. (Chris Moore/The News)

Legendary Texas High School coach Todd Dodge, a former Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson All-America quarterback, is going to pinch hit for Phillips. Dodge won seven state championships – four at Southlake Carroll and three at Austin Westlake.

Dodge is a recent Museum of the Gulf Coast inductee and strongly endorsed Joseph for the PNG job.

Joseph was an assistant coach under Dodge’s son Riley at Southlake Carroll before coming to Port Neches.

Also expected to participate in the program is Joseph’s dad, Gary, who has won five state championships at Katy. There is an outside chance Riley Dodge will attend.

Previous winners of the Phillips award are Silsbee’s Randy Smith, Nederland’s Monte Barrow and Eric Peevey of Little Cypress-Mauriceville.

Wade Phillips hands ring to LCM Head Coach Eric Peevey for being named Bum Philips Coach of the Year. Chris Moore/The News