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Former Fayetteville State head coach Kenny Phillips succumbs to cancer

Former Fayetteville State head football coach Kenny Phillips, who led the Broncos to three CIAA championships and led FSU from 2000-2012, passed Friday after a lengthy battle with cancer. Phillips finished as the all-time winningest coach in FSU history with a 75-63 record when he was released following a 2-8 season in 2012.

“The entire Fayetteville State University family is saddened by the death of Coach Kenny Phillips,” said FSU Chancellor James A. Anderson. “He brought prominence back to the FSU football program, but most importantly, he was a role model and mentor to the young men he coached.” Phillips was the defensive coordinator under Connell Maynor at Hampton last year but resigned midway thru the season when his cancer was discovered. Maynor, who got his first coaching job under Phillips as offensive coordinator at FSU, talked about his mentor on the MEAC Teleconference Tuesday.

“He’s a winner, he’s a man, he’s a leader, he’s a father, that’s what I leaned from Kenny,” said Maynor. “I learned to put coaching in its perspective – put God first, coaching second and your family third. Do your job and then go home. “I wouldn’t be the head coach at Hampton now if not for Kenny Phillips.”

Phillips graduated from D.H. Conley High School and played football at East Carolina University. He graduated from ECU in 1985 and started his coaching career as a student assistant with the Pirates. He went on to assistant’s jobs at Catawba, North Carolina A&T, Ohio and NC State before joining the Broncos as head man in 2000.

FSU was coming off a 1-10 finish. His first Fayetteville State team went 3-7, but the Broncos compiled a 38-18 record over the next five years while winning the first of three Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association championships under Phillips in 2002. The Broncos also won titles in 2003 and 2009 while advancing to the NCAA Division II playoffs on three occasions.

Information on funeral arrangements are not yet known. Phillips is survived by his wife Beverly, daughters Kathryn and Kennedy, and grandson, Brayden Jones.

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