Jason Phillips just completed his eighth season at the University of Houston, and his first as the offensive coordinator while still mentoring the Cougar wide receivers.
The 2010 season continued the upward arc of his career after he spent two seasons as the co-offensive coordinator and recruiting coordinator as well as wide receivers coach.
Phillips is a star on the rise, having been selected to participate in the 2008 NCAA Coaches Academy Program and the 2010 NCAA Champions Forum, both of which were designed to identify and nurture minority future head coaching candidates.
During his tenure at UH, Phillips has worked with stellar wide receivers such as Brandon Middleton, Vincent Marshall, Jeron Harvey, Biren Ealy, and Donnie Avery, the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft.
In the past three seasons at UH, Phillips has produced five 1,000-yard receiving seasons from three different players. Last year, Patrick Edwards posted his second straight 1,000-yard season and was named first-team All-Conference USA for his efforts.
In 2009, Phillips tutored the trio of James Cleveland, Edwards and Tyron Carrier to All-Conference USA accolades. Cleveland was named the Newcomer of the Year, Edwards was selected to the C-USA Second Team, while Carrier was an Honorable Mention. All three posted 1,000-yard receiving seasons, becoming only the fourth trio in NCAA history to accomplish that feat.
In 2008, Phillips guided Carrier to an All-C-USA Second Team selection and a spot on the C-USA All-Freshman Team.
All starred under the tutelage of Phillips, himself a consensus All-America wide receiver during his playing days at the University of Houston. Phillips has clearly shown that he has the ability to communicate his ideas and pass on the benefit of his experiences to young players.
In 2003, Middleton was a first-team All-C-USA pick and All-America Honorable Mention after setting a conference record with his 1,250 receiving yards. Middleton, one of the greatest deep threats in school history, amassed that yardage total on only 55 catches and averaged 23.4 yards per reception for his career (103 catches, 2,410 yards).
Marshall finished his career as the Cougars' all-time leader in receptions (272) and yards (3,770). Avery, a First-Team All-C-USA pick in 2007, holds UH single-game records for receiving yards (346) and all-purpose yards (427). Phillips has also proven that he can make a quick impact, mentoring two C-USA All-Freshman receivers in Avery and Leonard Gibson.
A native Houstonian who played at Ross Sterling High School, Phillips first made his mark at the University of Houston by hauling in passes from Heisman Trophy quarterback Andre Ware during the Cougars high-flying, high-scoring Run `N Shoot heyday. Phillips led the nation in receiving yards in 1987 (875 yards) and 1988 (1,444), the first player since Tulsa's Howard Twilley accomplished that feat 23 years earlier.
In 1987 Phillips not only was an All-Southwest Conference pick and the SWC Newcomer of the Year, but was also selected to the UPI All-America team. The following year Phillips was named to the All-SWC First Team, was the SWC Co-Offensive Player of the Year and a Consensus First-Team All-America pick. He was also selected to the SWC's All-Decade Team for the 80s and in 2006 Phillips' spectacular contributions to the program were recognized when he was inducted into the Houston Hall of Honor. With his offensive numbers, he continues to rank among the NCAA all-time leaders.
Entering the 2010 season, Phillips ranked fourth with 9.4 receptions per game during his career. He joined with James Dixon in 1988 as the first teammates to record 1,000-yard receiving seasons in the same year. That electrifying combo remains the only unit to rank 1-2 in catches per game in the NCAA in the same season.
Phillips was drafted by Detroit in 1989, where he set a rookie record with a 10-catch, 155-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Phillips enjoyed an eight-year professional career, playing six seasons in the NFL and two in the CFL before moving into the coaching ranks.
In 2001 he coached as an offensive intern for the Minnesota Vikings, working under head coach Dennis Green and offensive coordinator Sherman Lewis. In that capacity Phillips worked closely with wide receivers Randy Moss, Chris Carter, Jake Reed and Chris Walsh. The following season Phillips served in a similar capacity with the Atlanta Falcons, where he worked under head coach Dan Reeves.
Phillips began his college coaching career in 2001, when he served as an offensive assistant at Houston under head coach Dana Dimel. He spent the following season coaching wide receivers at Texas State before returning to the Cougars as wide receivers coach. He spent the 2007 at Baylor, where Phillips served as the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach under head coach Guy Morriss.
Phillips, who writes about coaching and has published articles in American Football Monthly magazine, earned a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from UH in 2001.
He and his wife Kimberly live in Houston.
THE PHILLIPS FILE