JACKSON, Miss. — Jason Phillips has been named co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach at Jackson State, head coach Deion Sanders announced Tuesday.
“I’m thrilled to welcome Jason to Jackson State,” Sanders said. “Jason is a great teacher of the game and has an impeccable resume and will help our young men develop on the field of play and in the classroom.”
Phillips is excited to assist and usher in the new era of Jackson State football.
“I’m excited to join Coach Sanders at Jackson State,” Phillips said. “We are changing the landscape not only at Jackson State, but across college football. Our offense is going to be exciting and fun to watch and I encourage everyone to tune in.”
Phillips has over 20 years of coaching experience and comes to JSU after serving the previous two seasons as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Utah State. Phillips, who played professionally for eight seasons, including six years in the NFL, has coached in six bowl games during his collegiate career.
During the 2019 season, Phillips helped four offensive players earn all-Mountain West honors, including wide receiver Siaosi Mariner, who was named to the second team. Following his collegiate career, Mariner signed an NFL free agent contract with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Furthermore, USU’s offense set school records in passes completed (315) and attempted (504), while its 3,628 passing yards are the second-most.
Phillips also helped Utah State to its 14th bowl game all-time in 2019, including its eighth in the past nine seasons, as it played in the Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl.
Also read: Meet the recruiting service that helped Jackson State win National Signing Day
Phillips came to Utah State after spending the 2018 season as the wide receivers coach for the Salt Lake Stallions of the Alliance of American Football. Prior to that, he spent the 2017 season as the passing game coordinator and wide receivers coach at Oregon State, and was the wide receivers coach at Kansas in 2016.
Prior to his one-year stint at Kansas, Phillips spent three years on the coaching staff at SMU, where he served as co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach from 2012-14.
Under Phillips’ tutelage, SMU had multiple 1,000-yard receivers for just the third time in school history and multiple 100-reception receivers for the first time in program history.
Phillips came to the SMU program after completing his ninth season at Houston, where he served as offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach. Phillips had also served as UH’s recruiting coordinator.
As offensive coordinator, Phillips capped a successful 2011 season by helping Houston to a dominating 30-14 win over Penn State in the Ticket City Bowl, which included 600 yards of total offense, its eighth that season. In all, the 2011 Cougar offense was one of the most prolific in NCAA history, averaging nearly 600 yards per game to rank second all-time just behind the 1989 Houston Cougars, who averaged 625 yards per game.
During his tenure at Houston, Phillips worked with numerous stellar players, including Donnie Avery, the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft. In his last four seasons at UH, Phillips produced seven 1,000-yard receiving seasons from four different players. Phillips also directed an offense led by quarterback Case Keenum, whom Phillips helped to numerous NCAA records.
Phillips began his college coaching career in 2001, when he served as an offensive assistant at Houston. He spent the following season coaching wide receivers at Texas State before returning to the Cougars as wide receivers coach in 2003. He spent the 2007 season at Baylor, serving as the recruiting coordinator and wide receivers coach. He returned to his alma mater in 2008 as co-offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator before being promoted to offensive coordinator/wide receivers coach in 2010.
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, Cris 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 was also 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.
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’ highflying, 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.
Phillips 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.
Phillips, who was a consensus All-America wide receiver during his playing days at Houston, was drafted by the Detroit Lions of the NFL in 1989, where he set a rookie record with a 10-catch, 155-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Phillips, who has written about coaching and has published articles in American Football Monthly Magazine, earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from Houston in 2001.
Courtesy: Jackson State Athletics