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Former U(S)L AD Phillips Announces Plans to Retire

Streeter Lecka/Getty Images Sport

It’s been a long time since Terry Don Phillips was in Acadiana, running the athletics department at the University of Southwestern Louisiana.

But many Cajuns fans have followed his career, which saw stops as the Associate AD at Arkansas, the head man at Oklahoma State and, for the last ten years, Athletics Director at Clemson.

Today, Phillips announced his intention to retire as Clemson AD, on or before his contract expires in July, 2013.

Phillips said he was making the announcement now in order to give Clemson president James Barker plenty of time to find his successor.

Phillips was hired at USL back in 1983 and served as AD until 1988, when he left to go to Arkansas.  Under his direction, Phillips hired such head coaches as Nelson Stokley (football), Marty Fletcher (men’s basketball), Ross Cook (women’s basketball) and Mike Boulanger (baseball).

Phillips had resigned once during his tenure to take the job at Southern Mississippi, but changed his mind two days later.

After his tenure as Associate AD at Arkansas, Phillips moved on to Oklahoma State.  He was lauded for his job in helping the school get through a tragic plane crash that killed several OSU basketball players as well as their radio announcer and sports information director.  While at OSU, Phillips hired Les Miles as football coach.

In 2002 he took the position at Clemson and the school has flourished under his leadership.  This past semester Clemson student-athletes had an aggregate GPA of 2.99, the best in the school’s history.  With Phillips as AD, the school has also invested more than $140 million dollars in facilities projects and has never had a letter of inquiry from the NCAA.

During his decade as AD, Clemson has won 13 ACC titles and had 57 finishes in the Top 25 in various sports.  They were in a bowl game every year under Phillips’ tenure.


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