New Orleans Saints History: Bum Phillips Named Head Coach

Rick Stewart

On this day in Saints history, January 22nd, 1981, Bum Phillips became head coach of the New Orleans Saints.

Oail Andrew Phillips was announced as the eighth head coach of the New Orleans Saints on this day 33 years ago.

Phillips, born September 29, 1923 and known for his Stetson hat (but not in the Dome), was the head coach of the Saints from 1981 to most of 1985. The Saints' had a 27-42 overall record under Phillips. He would eventually resign before the end of the '85 season on November 25, one day after a 30-24 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Bum started his NFL coaching career in the late '60s as a defensive assistant coach for the San Diego Chargers under Sid Gillman . In 1973, Gillman became head coach of the Houston Oilers, and brought Phillips with him as defensive coordinator. Phillips eventually became head coach of the Oilers in 1975, where he became the winningest coach in franchise history with a 59-38 record between '75 and '80.

The world lost Bum just this past October at the age of 90.

I wasn't around during the Bum years. In fact, he was named coach of the Saints 10 months before I was born. So I honestly have no personal knowledge of the man. But I look forward to hearing about him from those of you that do.

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