Four Questions with Starr’s Mill coach Chad Phillips
Chad Phillips, Starr’s Mill
1. What is the most memorable game you’ve been a part of as a player or coach?“The two biggest wins in Starr’s Mill history are road wins in the state quarterfinals [Brookwood] and semifinals [Tucker] in 2000 and 2010. In both games, we really had no business winning, but our kids played their hearts out, and we were within a score late in the game. We faked a punt against Brookwood to keep a drive alive and had a huge fumble recovery late against Tucker to give us a chance to score with less than a minute on the clock. Both games were on TV and played in front of huge crowds. Both wins gave us the opportunity to play in the Georgia Dome the next week.”
2. Which high school coach would you want your son to play for, and why?“I worked for Mike Earwood for nearly 20 years, and there is not a finer football coach. His work ethic was unrivaled. He is incredibly detailed in planning, surrounds himself with highly competitive, passionate people and has extremely high expectations of everyone surrounding the football program. He is about the complete player from the moment they enter our program. The former players are still part of the program here. Barely a day goes by during the season that a former player doesn’t stop by the school. He was a powerful influence on the boys, his staff and everyone that was part of the program.” [Earwood, for 29 years a head coach in Georgia, retired after the 2015 season. His record was 216-114-1.]
3. What is your favorite saying/motto?“We used the motto last season, ‘The lights are always on.’ We still discuss the fact that we have to make many decisions every day that will affect us forever. Our players understand the lights aren’t only on them on Friday night from 7:30 until 10. They are on them all of the time. They have to make great decisions in the classroom and with their friends socially because their future depends on it.”
4. Which GHSA policy or high school football rule would you most like to see changed?“I would like to see a rule adopted like Texas has so we can prevent this ‘free agent’ crisis we have. If a student moves less than 75 miles they will be ruled ineligible for one season unless they can prove extenuating circumstances. In my opinion, we have an out-of-control problem with kids bouncing from school to school to school. I also think we should adopt the NCAA rules. The game would be more fan friendly, easier to officiate and would give us a little more latitude from a coach perspective.”
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