Wade Phillips: I Wanted To Honor My Dad

Former NFL coach Wade Phillips is the author of “Son of Bum: Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life"

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 08, 2020 - 8:22 am
Wade Phillips

USA Today Images


Former NFL coach Wade Phillips dropped by CBS Sports Radio to discuss his life, career and his father, among other topics. 

Phillips is the author of “Son of Bum: Lessons My Dad Taught Me About Football and Life,” which serves as a tribute to his father, former NFL head coach Bum Phillips, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 90.

“I wanted to honor him,” Phillips said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Not everybody knew about him. They might have known something about him, but it was he was the guy with a cowboy hat on and boots on the sideline, which we won’t see again. But [the book] was an opportunity to honor him. He was just so important in my life – not only in my football life coaching-wise, but as a son growing up. I just wanted to tell that story.”

Bum Phillips coached in high school, college and the NFL, as did his son. Was there any chance young Wade, now 72, wouldn’t follow in his footsteps?

“Probably not,” Phillips said, laughing. “I grew up as a kid – my dad was coaching in high school – and I grew up [going] down to the fieldhouse. Coaches work a lot, so I would go down to the fieldhouse at night or right after school and stay there until I had to do my homework. That’s the way I got to see him.”

Phillips recalls his father and his assistant coaches huddled in an office, laughing or arguing about football. 

“They were always having fun,” said Phillips, who coached in the NFL from 1976 to 2019. “They were arguing about stuff or talking football – on the chalkboard in those days and throwing chalk at the board. It was fun to be around as a kid. I enjoyed that part.”