Veteran Wide Receivers Coach Jason Phillips Joins Kansas Football Staff
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas football head coach David Beaty made some adjustments to his staff Sunday afternoon as he announced that veteran wide receivers coach, Jason Phillips, was joining the Jayhawk program.
“Jason’s reputation for developing wide receivers speaks for itself,” said Beaty. “Everywhere he has been he has pushed his players to excel at the highest level. I have learned a great deal from him about wide receiver play and I am very excited that he is now a part of our staff because of his knowledge of the game, not to mention what he can do for us in recruiting. He has been a player on the national recruiting scene throughout his career and he has very strong ties in the state of Texas, in particular, the cities of Houston and Dallas.”
Phillips arrives in Lawrence with more than 25 years of experience combined as a player and coach. Having worked on the staffs of both Art Briles and Kevin Sumlin at Houston and June Jones at SMU, among others, Phillips will team up with Klint Kubiak to coach the KU pass catchers.
“Typically in the air raid offense there are two coaches working with wide receivers,” said Beaty. “With Jason joining our staff, he and Klint can join forces to provide us a great pair of coaches working with our players at those positions.”
With Phillips’ addition to the Jayhawk staff, Beaty also announced that Gary Hyman will move to an off-the-field role as a special teams analyst.
“Gary will continue to be a very valuable member of our staff, it will just be in a different role,” said Beaty. “Gary will be a huge asset to our special teams, he will just be impacting them from an off-the-field position. With the addition of Jason and carving out this role for Gary, I am ecstatic with how we have been able to expand our staff.”
Phillips comes to KU after spending 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 (Jeremy Johnson (1,112) & Keenan Holman (1,037)), and had multiple 100-reception receivers for the first time in program history (Johnson (112) & Darius Joseph (103)), with Johnson and Joseph’s efforts ranking as the top two single-season reception records in SMU history and in the top-10 nationally in 2013.
In his first year at SMU in 2012, the Mustangs posted top-10 school efforts in scoring, scoring average, total offense, passing yards, passing TDs, completions, attempts, completion percentage and first downs among others. Phillips’ receivers Darius and Jeremy Johnson each earned All-C-USA honors.
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.
Phillips capped a successful 2011 season by helping UH to a dominating 30-14 win over Penn State in the TicketCity Bowl, with his offense finishing with 600 yards of total offense. It was the eighth time in 2011 that the Cougars reached that total. In all, the 2011 Cougar offense was one of the most prolific in NCAA history, averaging nearly 600 yards per game in total offense, ranking second all-time just behind another the 1989 Houston Cougars, who averaged 625 yards.
A huge reason for that production was the play of Houston’s wide receivers, which was the country’s most productive group. Houston had a number of record-setters on that team, including Patrick Edwards, who led the country with 20 touchdown catches. Edwards also ranked second nationally with 1,752 receiving yards and was the school and Conference USA all-time leader with 4,501 career receiving yards. In 2011, Tyron Carrier also ranked in the top 20 nationally in receptions per game and senior Justin Johnson ranked 16th in the nation with a 1,229-yard season.
During his tenure at UH, Phillips worked with stellar wide receivers like Carrier, Edwards, Johnson, and Donnie Avery, the first wide receiver taken in the 2008 NFL Draft. In just the past 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 was a consensus All-America wide receiver during his playing days at Houston. As a coach, Phillips has shown that he has the ability to communicate his ideas and pass on the benefit of his experiences to young players.
Phillips was 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 high-flying, 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 was drafted by Detroit in 1989, where he set a rookie record with a 10-catch, 155-yard performance against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Phillips enjoyed an eight-year professional career, playing six seasons in the NFL and two in the CFL before moving into the coaching ranks.
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, Chris 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 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 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.
Phillips, who has written about coaching and has published articles in American Football Monthly Magazine, earned his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from UH in 2001.
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