This is the latest in a series of features on the 2010 University of Arkansas Sports Hall of Honor inductees.
FAYETTEVILLE – Razorback football fans may have sweet memories of former defensive linemen Terry Don Phillips. The notion is correct, as Phillips helped UA to two trips to the Sugar Bowl, playing from 1966, 68-69. Phillips may be known as much for his playing days as his impact after; he served as the president of the Razorbacks Foundation, Inc., from 1988-91. The current Clemson athletic director has certainly left a mark, not just at Arkansas, but around the nation.
In Phillips’ UA career, the Razorbacks compiled an outstanding 25-7 record. For the Arkansas defensive line in 1966, the success was a family affair as Phillips played in the trenches with his older brother, Loyd Phillips. The younger Phillips recalled a special moment with his older sibling from the many memories of his time at Arkansas.
"Being able to play with my brother was a special memory," Phillips said. "We were playing at Texas in 1966. Late in the game we were leading 12-7 and Texas was driving. The game was on TV and we had a TV timeout. The game was on the line and everyone was a bit uptight. During the timeout, Joe Black (1964-66) found a cigarette that had been left on the field by a member of the Texas grounds crew. Joe decided it was time to lighten things up so he brought the cigarette to my brother Loyd and asked him if he wanted to have a smoke during the timeout. My brother thought this was not the time to be comical. He got mad and proceeded to get everyone fired up. We stopped Texas and won the game 12-7. I am not sure if we stopped them because my brother got so fired up, or because the rest of the guys were loosened up by Joe’s invitation to my brother. Whatever the reason, it was nice to come away with a win in Austin."
In Arkansas’ 1969 Sugar Bowl victory, the Razorbacks took down Southeastern Conference champion Georgia by a score of 16-2. Phillips fondly remembers the win.
"The Sugar Bowl game against Georgia was special," Phillips said. "They were SEC champs and ranked in the top five. Beating a team like them was certainly special because they were truly a great team."
Phillips finished his career as a three-time letterwinner. After playing for UA, Phillips served on the Arkansas staff as a graduate assistant from 1970-71. He then spent seven seasons with Virginia Tech.
After Phillips’ stint in coaching, he began his career in collegiate administration, now with more than 30 years of experience. He has served in administrative roles at Florida, Missouri and Arkansas (1988-94) before heading athletic departments at Liberty, Louisiana-Lafayette, Oklahoma State and now Clemson. Phillips’ expansive career in athletics hasn’t diminished his ability to be humbled by his alma mater.
"To be inducted into the Hall of Honor; I can’t say how much it means," Phillips said. "It is something that was totally unexpected. It is extremely humbling. I’m extremely honored. In fact, I’m still pinching myself about it."
UA Sports Hall of Honor members are selected by a vote of former letterwinners in conjunction with the "A" Club. The official induction is Friday, Sept. 3, at the Springdale Convention Center. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased from the Razorback Foundation. For more information, call the Razorback Foundation at 479-443-9000.