Who Is Wade Phillips? A Closer Look at the San Antonio Brahmas’ Head Coach for the 2024 UFL Season

The UFL's San Antonio Brahmas will have a well-known coaching figure leading their franchise. Here's an extensive background on Wade Phillips.

While the UFL is considered brand new, there are some familiar faces from the NFL roaming the sidelines during games.

One is Wade Phillips, who is the head coach of the San Antonio Brahmas and has led them to the UFL Championship. Here’s a closer look at the longtime football coach.

Wade Phillips Is a Respected Name Across the NFL

For starters, Phillips is the son of legendary NFL head coach Bum Phillips. But Wade has carved out his own career as a distinguished defensive mind.

Phillips started as the defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints in 1981. From 1982 to 1984, the Saints ranked in the top five in yards allowed. He pulled off the same feat with the Denver Broncos, as their unit ranked first in yards allowed and third in points surrendered in 1989. His unit then ranked fifth in yards and third in points two seasons later.

Many NFL fans likely remember Phillips as a head coach. He earned his first head coaching gig in 1993 with the Broncos. His first Denver team went 9-7 but ended the season with a first-round postseason exit. Phillips was fired after the 1994 campaign as Denver went 7-9.

Phillips later found new head coaching success with the Buffalo Bills. He guided back-to-back playoff runs in 1998 (10-6 record) and 1999 (11-5). Both Bills teams, though, lost in the first round as well. Phillips wasn’t retained in the 2000 season, as Buffalo went 8-8.

He was given one more NFL head coaching role in 2007 with the Dallas Cowboys. His first Cowboys team produced a 13-3 mark but fell in the NFC Divisional Round to the eventual-Super-Bowl-champion New York Giants.

Phillips went on to put together one more Dallas playoff team in 2009, with an 11-5 record. That 2009 Cowboys also gave Phillips his first-ever postseason win as a head coach — a 34-14 romp of the Philadelphia Eagles. Their season ended at the hands of the Minnesota Vikings, 34-3.

KEEP READING: How Much Do UFL Players and Coaches Get Paid?

Phillips never had the chance to finish out the 2010 season, as the Cowboys stumbled to a dismal 1-7 start. He got fired at midseason, becoming the first head coach in franchise history to lose his job before the regular season ended.

He’s also had several stints where he took over as head coach on an interim basis, including in 1985 with the Saints (he went 1-3), 2003 with the Atlanta Falcons (2-1), and 2013 while coaching the Houston Texans (0-3).

Phillips’ XFL Mark

This wasn’t Phillips’ first time coaching spring football.

Prior to coaching in the UFL, the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL hired him as their head coach in July 2022.

How did the Roughnecks fare under Phillips? They went on to steamroll to a 7-3 mark while claiming first in the league’s south division. Phillips and the Roughnecks, though, fell to the eventual XFL-champion Arlington Renegades in the South Division title game during the playoffs.

The 76-year-old Phillips has shown he still has the fire and interest to be a terrific head coach.

He secured the Brahmas’ head coaching gig after Hines Ward stepped down as their head coach in Dec. 28, 2023. Including his interim stints, San Antonio is the eighth different team that Phillips has coached.

Related Articles