PN-G’s Joseph earns Bum Phillips coaching award
By Bob West
Jeff Joseph of Port Neches-Groves, who made an eye-opening statement in his first season with the Indians, has been named winner of the 4th Annual National Football Foundation Bum Phillips Golden Triangle High School Coach of the Year Award.
Joseph, an assistant at Southlake Lake Carroll in 2021, guided PN-G to a 13-3 record and its first appearance in the state finals since 1999. The Indians, after placing second in district, roared through the playoffs before losing to Dallas South Oak Cliff in the 5A Division II title game.
In recognition of the honor, Joseph will be presented a Balfour ring designed in Phillips’ image. The presentation will be made at 2 p.m. Thursday, March 2 in the Museum of the Gulf Coast. The public is encouraged to attend.
Normally Bum’s son Wade Phillips, who played for his dad at PN-G in the mid-1960s, comes in to make the ring presentation. Wade, however, is busy coaching the Houston Roughnecks of the XFL.
Legendary Texas High School coach Todd Dodge, a former Port Arthur Thomas Jefferson All-America quarterback, is going to pinch hit for Phillips. Dodge won seven state championships – four at Southlake Carroll and three at Austin Westlake.
Dodge is a recent Museum of the Gulf Coast inductee and strongly endorsed Joseph for the PN-G job. Joseph was an assistant coach under Dodge’s son Riley at Southlake Carroll before coming to Port Neches.
Also expected to participate in the program is Joseph’s dad Gary who has won five state championships at Katy. There is an outside chance Riley Dodge will attend.
Previous winners of the Phillips award are Silsbee’s Randy Smith, Nederland’s Monte Barrow and Eric Peevey of Little Cypress-Mauriceville.