Phillips fills in at coaches convention

Posted Monday, Jul. 21, 2014  comments  Print Reprints
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82nd annual Texas High School Coaches Association state convention

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday; 8 a.m.-noon, Wednesday

Football all-star game at Alamodome, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Area selections

Football: WR Ryan Parker, Keller Fossil Ridge; QB Tevin Muse, Timberview; RB/WR Stepfawn Hughes, Dunbar; DB Matt McQuillan, Keller Central; DL Jonah Noah, Stephenville; LB Duke Kicinski, Justin Northwest; OL Thomas Walsh, Colleyville Heritage

Texas High School Coaches Association state convention

Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday; 8 a.m.-noon, Wednesday

Football all-star game at Alamodome, 7 p.m. Tuesday

Area selections

Football: WR Ryan Parker, Keller Fossil Ridge; QB Tevin Muse, Timberview; RB/WR Stepfawn Hughes, Dunbar; DB Matt McQuillan, Keller Central; DL Jonah Noah, Stephenville; LB Duke Kicinski, Justin Northwest; OL Thomas Walsh, Colleyville Heritage

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Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips was in solid form as a backup starting lecturer Monday at the Texas High School Coaches Association state convention.

Division I college coaches have been prohibited from giving lectures at the 82nd annual Coaches School, so Phillips, who started his career as a high school assistant in the southeast Texas community of Orange, stepped in.

“I’d like to thank the NCAA for giving me this opportunity,” said Phillips, drawing a laugh from several hundred coaches at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center.

The most recent Cowboys head coach to lose that job, Phillips was far from an old coach merely recounting past glory. He maintained a steady pace through a slide presentation on coaching football as a profession.

Under headings such as Work With Your Staff, How to Coach, Teaching, and Working with Players, the audience soaked in every word.

“I didn’t like everybody that I coached with. We didn’t believe some of the same things,” Phillips said. “But I respected them and I respected their opinion, and that’s a key part of being able to work with a staff.”

While discussing the topic “How to Coach,” Phillips preached coaching players the way you’d like to be coached.

“I want to get a player to a point where I know he does certain things and I know he’s tough,” Phillips said. “If I can do that, I don’t need a toughness drill with him all the time.”

Teaching players, especially on defense, means learning a specific position while remaining aware of everything else.

“I tell a player his assignment is a certain gap or certain technique, but his responsibility is to get to the football,” said Phillips, who most recently served as interim head coach and defensive coordinator of the Houston Texans.

As the hour closed, Phillips switched into storyteller mode, recalling the time Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell couldn’t finish a 1-mile run during training camp.

“Earl had 38-inch thighs, so he wasn’t running a mile,” said Phillips, then as Oilers assistant for his dad Bum. “Earl falls out after about half a mile. The press goes crazy and asked my dad what he was going to do. Bum said ‘Well if it’s third and a mile, we won’t give it to him.”

Future teammates

Mansfield Timberview quarterback Tevin Muse and Keller Fossil Ridge wide receiver Ryan Parker are on the North All-Star roster, and they will soon be playing for Tyler Junior College.

“Everything’s going good. We’re getting our timing down,” Muse said. “I’ve learned a lot about Ryan. I’ve been impressed from what I’ve seen and what he does. He gets separation and runs crisp routes.”

Parker foresees some deep balls his way in Tuesday’s game.

“Every time he throws it up I’ll go get it,” Parker said. “He puts the ball right on the money. The ball’s perfect.”

Like a dad

The uniforms are different, but North running back Larry Hill, from Cedar Hill, still has his old coach looking over his shoulder.

That’s because Cedar Hill coach Joey McGuire is the head coach of the North team.

“I’m like his kid, he’s going to get on me worse than other teammates, but he knows I can take it,” Hill said. “It’s good. I just have to be more focused and on my toes because I know who I’m dealing with: my dad. It’s a good thing, a very good thing.”

Eric Zarate, 817-390-7237 Twitter: @zarate_eric

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