SFA remembers football legend during homecoming celebrations - KLTV.com-Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

SFA remembers football legend during homecoming celebrations

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Saturday the streets of downtown were filled with lumberjack spirit during SFA's homecoming celebration.

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

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

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

 "He loved football he talked football no matter where he was at or what he was doing football was his life," said Gene Hampton, SFA Alumni Class of 1963.

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

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

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

Phillips's lettered in football in 1948, his jersey was retired in 1981.

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

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

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

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

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

"With the passing of Bum Phillips obviously we come together and our hearts go out to the Phillips family," said Collins.    

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

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