O.A. 'Bum' Phillips
Born: Sept. 29, 1923 in Orange, Texas
Died: Oct. 18, 2013
Coach O.A. "Bum" Phillips attended high school in Beaumont and played football at Lamar Junior College. Bum got his nickname when his little sister's attempts to say "brother" came out "bumble" and later "bum." Of his nickname, Bum has joked, "I don't mind being called Bum, just as long as you don't put a ‘you’ in front of it."
Phillips started his coaching career at Nederland and Port Neches-Groves High School. While at Nederland, Phillips took the Bulldogs to the state playoffs in 1955. He went on to coach college football at SMU, Texas A&M, Houston, Texas-El Paso, and Oklahoma State.
Phillips began working as defensive coordinator of the San Diego Chargers before going to the Houston Oilers in 1974. The team had just suffered through consecutive 1-13 seasons, but Bum created a defense that turned the team around. They finished the season 7-7.
In 1975, Phillips was named head coach and general manager of the Oilers. The team went 10-4, defeating every team on their schedule except Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Bum remarked, "FDR said the only thing we had to fear was fear itself. Well, the Steelers are fear itself."
Phillips served as the Oilers' head coach through 1980 and was the winningest coach in franchise history with a 55-35 record.
He became the head coach for the New Orleans Saints from 1981 to 1985. Asked what he is doing in retirement, Bum replies, "Nothin'. And I don't start doing that until noon."
Bum remains one of the all-time most popular Houston sports figures and worked as a football analyst on radio and television until his death in 2013.
His son Wade served as the Oilers' defensive line coach and has gone on to head coach several NFL teams including the Dallas Cowboys, winning a Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos after the 2015 season and being named the Associated Press NFL Assistant Coach of the Year.
Wade is now assistant coach of the Los Angeles, Rams.