Norm Phillips, who spent more than 50 years coaching high school track and field in El Paso, passed away today at the age of 92. Phillips was inducted into the El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame in 1990.
“The El Paso Athletic Hall of Fame is so sad to hear about the passing of Coach Phillips,” EPAHOF President Dr. Scott Stein said today. “He was an incredible coach and mentor to so many athletes and touched so many lives.”
Edmund Stansbury, who starred on the football field at Irvin in the mid 1990s, also reflected on the loss of the high school coaching legend. “I am upset and saddened to hear the passing of legendary Irvin Coach Norman Phillips,” Stansbury said. “I will be forever grateful to him nominating me for the distinguished honor of being in the Hall. Although he is no longer with us, there is no doubt his impact at Irvin and across El Paso will live on. My condolences to his family and all that he has influenced. Rest in Peace Coach and Thank You!”
Phillips was a football and track and field standout at Borger High School before attending West Texas State (now West Texas A&M). After graduating college, Phillips began his teaching and coaching career at Plainview High School. Then, he spent 11 years at Pampa High before arriving at Irvin High School in 1965. Among the greats that Phillips coached at Pampa included shot-putter Randy Matson, who won a silver medal at the 1964 Olympics and a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics.
Phillips coached at Irvin until 1990 and three years later, he went to Hanks as a “retire/rehire” along with his daughter, Kim Gomez. He assisted her with the Hanks boys and girls track team until 2021, when his health began to decline.