SFA remembers football legend during homecoming celebrations

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - Saturday the streets of downtown werefilled with lumberjack spirit during SFA's homecoming celebration.

"There's a lot to do and a lot ofpositive vibes," said Andrew Collins, Coordinator Athletic Operations.

Students and alumni celebrated theschool's 90 year anniversary while remembering the life of Bum Phillips, afootball legend and former lumberjack.

"The guy is a legend in his ownright and it's unfortunate he passed away and he will be missed," said KevinCarberry, SFA Defensive End Coach.

"He loved football he talked football nomatter where he was at or what he was doing football was his life," saidGene Hampton, SFA Alumni Class of 1963.

The former Houston Oilers and NewOrleans Saints coach died Friday night at the age of 90.

Gene Hampton graduated from SFA in 1963and says he got know Phillips while he was playing football at SFA.

"He brought the Houston Oilers toNacogdoches to workout preseason and so he made a real big impact on Nacogdochesand surrounding counties," said Hampton.

Phillips's lettered in football in1948, his jersey was retired in 1981.

Bob Sitton says he was a part of thealumni association for 15 years and was able to present Phillips with theDistinguished Alumni Award while he was still coaching the oilers.

"High school all the way throughprofessional football, he was a great football mind and highly respected,"said Sitton.

Defensive End Coach Kevin Carberrydescribes Philips as someone every coach and player can look up too and hehopes the lumberjack's performance today will live up to his standards.

"I think he want SFA to take homea win today I'm sure he'll be looking down on us," said Carberry.

And officials say in the midst of traditionand celebration Phillip's legacy will live on.

"With the passing of Bum Phillipsobviously we come together and our hearts go out to the Phillips family," saidCollins.

Phillips is survived by his second wife, Debbie, and sixchildren from his first marriage and nearly two dozen grandchildren.

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