Phillips steps down as Huntingdon director of athletics
College President J. Cameron West announced today that director of
athletics and head women's basketball coach Buzz Phillips will step down
as director of athletics but will remain at the College as head women's
basketball coach, effective immediately. West added that, in gratitude for all Phillips has contributed to
Huntingdon athletics, Phillips will be recognized as Director of Athletics Emeritus. Phillips
stated that he intends to focus on strengthening the women's
basketball team and on identifying outstanding student-athletes to be
part of the Huntingdon experience.
"It has been an honor to work with a man of Coach Phillips' character,"
said West. "Coach Phillips has a deep love for Huntingdon and for
Huntingdon student-athletes and is passionate about running an
intercollegiate athletic program of excellence and integrity. We are
grateful he remains on staff to lead the women's basketball program."
"I've had a good run here at
Huntingdon—we've accomplished a lot," said Phillips. "I thank
President West for his support during my nine years as
athletic director, and I thank the coaching staff and the
student-athletes for all they give to the Huntingdon program.
Huntingdon has some of the best student-athletes anywhere. I love
this college. This isn't goodbye, but a 42-year career is just
about long enough. I look forward to continuing
with the women's basketball program and bringing home more
championships in the future. I also look forward—and this is the
most important reason for this decision—to having more free time to
spend with my grandkids."
Phillips' combined years of service to Huntingdon athletics span nearly
two decades. He returned to Huntingdon as director of athletics in 2003
after serving from 1991 to 2001 on the Huntingdon coaching staff and as
assistant director of athletics. In 2001, he led Huntingdon men's
basketball to the National Small College Athletic Association national
title and was named Coach of the Year by the NSCAA. Under Phillips' leadership as director of athletics,
the College has re-introduced men's tennis and women's golf and added
men's and women's cross country and men's and women's lacrosse. Last
year, the College announced its move from the Great South Athletic
Conference to full membership in the USA South Athletic Conference
beginning fall 2013. Since 2003, football, softball and men's golf
have qualified for NCAA-Division III play-off berths, and regular season
or GSAC championships have been garnered by men's and women's cross
country, men's and women's tennis, baseball, softball, volleyball, and
Athletic facility improvements under Phillips' leadership have included
the addition of Charles Lee Field and W. James Samford Jr. Stadium,
built in three phases; the complete renovation and reconstruction of the
tennis courts, renamed George S. Gibbs Tennis Center in 2012; and the
renovation and renaming of Catherine Dixon Roland Arena. In addition,
Neal Posey Field was resurfaced and new scoreboards were added to the
soccer and baseball facilities. The College's football field house was
renamed in Phillips' honor last fall. Phillips
earned the 2004 All-America Football Foundation Bill Wade Unsung Hero
Award and was inducted into Huntingdon's Order of the Countess of
Huntingdon giving society in 2008.
An alumnus of Troy University, Phillips served as a
student assistant for the Troy football program and was a member of the
1968 NAIA national championship football team, also playing baseball
for Troy in 1968 and 1969. He rejoined the Troy athletic department in
2001 as director of marketing, serving in various other capacities for
the department until returning to Huntingdon in 2003. In 2002, he was
selected as the Women's Sports Foundation Joyce Sorrell Achievement
Award recipient. He was honored with the prestigious Trojan Award and
was named Troy Alumni of the Year in 2003.
Before entering the college coaching ranks, Phillips coached for 20
years at the prep level and handled the athletic directorship of the
Sylacauga Recreation Department.
West has named College alumnus Tommy Dismukes, Class of 1983, who serves
as director of student financial services and as the College's NCAA
compliance officer, to the post of interim director of athletics pending
the appointment of Phillips' successor.
grounded in the Judeo-Christian tradition of the United
Methodist Church, is committed to nurturing growth in faith,
wisdom, and service and to graduating individuals prepared to
succeed in a rapidly changing world. Founded in 1854, Huntingdon
is a coeducational liberal arts college. The College motto,
"Enter to grow in wisdom; go forth to apply wisdom in service,"
is inscribed in stone above the front door of John Jefferson
Flowers Hall. Ranked in the top tier of regional colleges by
U.S. News and World Report and consistently listed in the
Princeton Review's "The Best Colleges: Region by Region,"
Huntingdon has for two years been recognized on the President's
Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll and is listed on
the National Register of Historic Places. Washington
Monthly, which ranks colleges on the basis of their
contributions to the public good, places Huntingdon in the top
20% of 352 baccalaureate colleges.