Wade Allen Phillips (born June 21, 1947 in Orange, Texas) is the former head coach for the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys, New Orleans Saints, Denver Broncos, Buffalo Bills, and Atlanta Falcons. His career winning percentage as a head coach is .581.
Wade is the son of former NFL coach Bum Phillips. Wade and wife Laurie have two children together. His daughter, dancer/choreographer Tracy Phillips, appeared as Helena in My Chemical Romance's music video for the song "Helena"; his son, Wes Phillips, is an assistant coach with the Cowboys.
Phillips attended Port Neches-Groves High School in Port Neches, Texas, and went on to the University of Houston, where he was a three-year starter at linebacker from 1966–68. He still holds the school record for career assisted tackles (228).
Phillips began his coaching career as graduate assistant to Bill Yeoman at the University of Houston in 1969. From 1970–72 he served as defensive coordinator at West Orange-Stark High School in Orange, Texas. He then coached the linebackers at Oklahoma State University from 1973–1974, under his father who was OSU defensive coordinator at that time. In 1975, Phillips coached the defensive line at the University of Kansas.
Phillips began his professional coaching career in Houston as the linebackers coach in 1976 for the team coached by his father, as well as defensive line coach in 1977–1980. He remained on his father's staff as the pair headed for New Orleans. Bum stepped down as head coach of a struggling Saints team in late 1985, and Wade stepped in as interim head coach. He spent the next three years as the defensive coordinator of the Philadelphia Eagles and then four more in the same position for the Denver Broncos. Phillips replaced Dan Reeves as head coach for the Broncos in 1993, but was fired after a mediocre 1994 season in which management felt he lost control of the team.
The most successful coaching stop for Phillips was at Buffalo. He always kept the team competitive and in the playoff hunt. A loss to the Titans in the 1999 playoffs haunted Phillips for the rest of his time at Buffalo. Prior to the game, Wade caused a controversy when he inserted Rob Johnson as starting quarterback, after Doug Flutie was the starter the whole year and led the team to the playoffs.
He has the distinction of having been replaced by a father and a son from two head coaching positions – by Jim Mora at the New Orleans Saints and by Jim Mora Jr. at the Atlanta Falcons. He also has twice replaced Dan Reeves as a head coach.
On February 8, 2007, he was named the head coach of the Dallas Cowboys, replacing the retired Bill Parcells. He was chosen after Jerry Jones interviewed 10 potential replacements, including former Cowboys and former San Francisco 49ers Offensive Coordinator Norv Turner, former Chicago Bears defensive coordinator Ron Rivera and former Cowboys quarterback Jason Garrett. In the 2007 NFL Playoffs, he led the Cowboys to another playoff loss, making his playoff record 1–5. The Cowboys failed to make the playoffs in 2008, as the season ended with a 44-6 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles, preventing a wild card playoff berth.
Prior to the 2009 season, Phillips also took over as defensive coordinator, replacing the fired Brian Stewart. Phillips called defensive plays for the final 10 games of the 2008 season after Stewart was stripped of the responsibilities.. On January 9, 2010, Phillips's Cowboys defeated the Eagles in the wild card round, ending the club's 12 year playoff win drought (6 games total, Phillips was only coach for one of those losses) and earning Phillips his first playoff win. Following the 2009 season, Phillips signed a contract extension through the 2011 season. However, he was fired by the Cowboys on November 8, 2010 following the second worst start in franchise history (one win in their first eight games) punctuated by a 45-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers.
Head coaching record
Team Year Regular Season Post Season
Won Lost Ties Win % Finish Won Lost Win % Result
NOR 1985 1 3 0 .250 3rd in NFC West - - - -
NOR Total 1 3 0 .250 - - -
DEN 1993 9 7 0 .562 3rd in AFC West 0 1 .000 Lost to Los Angeles Raiders in AFC Wild-Card Game.
DEN 1994 7 9 0 .437 4th in AFC West - - - -
DEN Total 16 16 0 .500 0 1 .000
BUF 1998 10 6 0 .625 3rd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Miami Dolphins in AFC Wild-Card Game.
BUF 1999 11 5 0 .687 2nd in AFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to Tennessee Titans in AFC Wild-Card Game - the Music City Miracle.
BUF 2000 8 8 0 .500 4th in AFC East - - - -
BUF Total 29 19 0 .604 0 2 .000
ATL 2003 2 1 0 .667 4th in NFC South - - - -
ATL Total 2 1 0 .667 - - -
DAL 2007 13 3 0 .813 1st in NFC East 0 1 .000 Lost to New York Giants in NFC Divisional Game.
DAL 2008 9 7 0 .562 3rd in NFC East - - - -
DAL 2009 11 5 0 .687 1st in NFC East 1 1 .500 Defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in NFC Wild Card Game, then lost to the Minnesota Vikings in NFC Divisional Game.
DAL 2010 1 7 0 .125 NFC East - - - -
DAL Total 34 20 0 .630 1 2 .333
Total 82 59 0 .581 1 5 .167