“It’s amazing” or “It’s beautiful” were just a few of the words that were uttered Friday night by former coaches and players as the renovated Lumpkins Stadium was revealed to the public. It truly is a beautiful and amazing venue that past and future generations will be able to call its home stadium. Many former players and coaches were invited to take part in the renovation ceremony at the 10,000-seat stadium.
One of the most notable attendees at the ceremony was former Waxahachie head coach Scott Phillips, who coached the Tribe from 1990 to 1993. Phillips coached here for a short span but he accomplished much more than any other coach in Waxahachie history. Phillips took two of those teams to the regional finals and another team to the semifinals. The most memorable team he coached was the 1992 squad that went undefeated (16-0) en route to the school’s only state championship in football.
Many in Waxahachie still think very highly of Phillips and believe he is the best coach that has ever coached here. Phillips rejects that notion and gives credit elsewhere.
“I don’t think there is such a thing as the best coach. If you could have had the type of coaches I had and the type of players I had why, I think my job was pretty easy,” said Phillips. “The players worked their butts off every week and gave me everything I asked for. It made a difference to have a coaching staff like Thomas Brooks and Tony Valastro, who has gone on to win a lot of games as a head coach. There were a group of men here that were great leaders and great coaches that did a wonderful job and made mine a lot easier.”
Phillips has been retired from coaching for six years and now focuses on selling real estate.
In his spare time he tries to go and watch his children coach teams throughout the state. His son is the head football coach in Garrison, Texas, while he has two daughters and a son-in-law coaching in Junction, Texas.
Regarding the new renovation at the stadium, Phillips agrees that it will be up there with the rest of the great stadiums around the metroplex.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “This is a state of the art stadium and it’s about as nice of a stadium as there is anywhere in the metroplex. It will be amazing for the teams that get to come here to play and they’ll be amazed. The facilities here are second to none so the kids here in Waxahachie are really going to enjoy this.”
Before the evening wrapped up, Phillips shared his most memorable moment in the older stadium. It took place back in his first year at WHS in a game against a powerful Wilmer-Hutchins team.
“There were so many memories here because we played a lot of big games here,” Phillips said. “I think my first year here we were playing Wilmer-Hutchins for our homecoming and we got right down to the goal line twice and they held us out both times and beat us 6-0. And then we played them again in the quarterfinals that year at Texas Stadium. They went on to win the state title that year but I remember our kids working their butts off against them in that close loss here. And I was real proud of them.”