Former McMurry Athlete/Coach Honored on "Good Morning America!"

  Dave Beyer
  Wednesday, February 1, 2017 9:48 AM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

 McMurry University’s athletics family extends its congratulations to one of its own – Coach Phillip Rhodes (Cl. 1984) of Childress (Texas) High School – who was honored today live on “Good Morning America!”.  GMA, in a surprise presentation Wednesday morning during its Super Bowl Week show, honored Coach Rhodes as the winner its “Super Coach” contest, recognizing his long career in coaching and education.

Along with the national television recognition, GMA presented Coach Rhodes with V.I.P. access tickets to this weekend’s Super Bowl LI game and pre-game activities in Houston.

Coach Rhodes has spent 34 years with the Childress ISD. Coach Rhodes is the head track coach and an assistant football coach. He teaches World Geography, as well, according to the Childress ISD web site.

Coach Rhodes – who graduated from McMurry with a physical education and history teaching degree - was a track athlete and an extremely popular figure at McMurry, given the nickname “water bug” because of the way he “scooted around campus.” He also gave back to his Alma Mater by serving as an assistant coach for the McMurry track team.

One person who has fond memories of Coach Rhodes is longtime McMurry professor, Pug Parris.  “Phillip Rhodes had so much charisma,” recounted Parris.  “He was well-liked, and extremely goal-directed.  The fact he has spent his entire career as an educator and coach in Childress, Texas attests to his loyalty.  I never doubted he would be a successful coach because he himself had the spirit and determination to succeed in many aspects of life. 

“He always had a bright smile and an ‘attitude of gratitude.’  When he graduate from McMurry, and landed that job at Childress, he bought his first car.  I felt so special when he drove to Abilene, came to get me in Hunt PE Center, and took me for a ride in the new vehicle, saying:  ‘Mrs. Pug if anyone deserves to take a ride in my first car, it’s you.’   He always had a way of making others feel appreciated.  I am absolutely thrilled for him, for all the folks in Childress who love him, and for all his many, many friends from his days at McMurry.”

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