Former Tennessee State University women’s basketball coach and Director of Athletics Teresa Phillips already had quite the impressive resume upon retiring in June of last year.
Now, she can add Hall of Famer to her list of accomplishments as she, along with former Murray State women’s tennis coach Connie Keasling and former UT Martin Director of Athletics Phil Dane, has been elected to the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame, the conference announced on Tuesday.
“I was really surprised when I first heard about it but very excited also,” Phillips said in a video statement. “It’s really humbling to see the list of individuals [already in the Hall of Fame] and to know how many great athletes, coaches and administrators are already in the Hall.
“…Thank you to the men and women who have been a part of that league and my life, and the students who really have always shown great passion, great sportsmanship and high honor. It has been a great journey for me and my career.”
Phillips was TSU’s AD from 2002 until 2020. Under her guidance, TSU won 12 Ohio Valley Conference championships — including two volleyball and one women’s OVC basketball title.
Phillips won 144 games as the TSU women’s basketball coach from 1989 until 1999, earning OVC Coach of the Year honors three times and USA Today National Coach of the Year once in 1990. She led TSU to its first-ever OVC regular-season championship, OVC Tournament championship and NCAA Tournament appearance in 1993.
Phillips was named associate AD in 1999 after retiring from coaching and was promoted to interim AD in 2001 when James Smith was fired. She was finally named the permanent AD after TSU conducted a search for Smith’s replacement.
She left her mark on the school in many ways, becoming the first woman ever to coach an NCAA Division I men's basketball team en route to being named one of the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports in 2003 by Sports Illustrated. Phillips was also named as a one of 10 Legends in Women’s Basketball in Tennessee during the Women’s Final Four in 2014.
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