Clemson Legend Jim Phillips Passes Away
Jim Phillips and Will Merritt prepare for the Georgia game.
Clemson, SC-Jim Phillips, the legendary voice of the Clemson Tigers
for 36 years, died early Tuesday morning of an aneurysm of the aorta.
He was 69 years old.
Phillips was rushed to Greenville Memorial Hospital Monday
evening. Surgeons performed seven hours of surgery before he passed
away at 4:00 AM. Phillips had broadcast the Clemson vs. Furman game
just two days prior to his death.
The dean of all broadcasters in the ACC, Phillips came to
Clemson in 1968 and broadcast his first Tiger football game on
September 21, 1968, a 20-20 tie between Clemson and Wake Forest. The
Clemson vs. Georgia game of August 30, 2003 was his 400th Clemson
At 69-years-old, he was the only ACC play-by-play announcer
to broadcast his school's football, basketball, baseball and women's
basketball games. Over his career he broadcast over 2,000 Clemson
Phillips also served as host of the Clemson football and basketball
coach's shows for many years, including this season. He broadcast
his 1000th Clemson men's basketball game at the 2002 ACC Tournament
in Charlotte. He missed just one broadcast of a Clemson men's
basketball game in Littlejohn Coliseum, a time period that dates to
November of 1968.
Phillips was one of the most honored broadcasters in his
field. He was a five-time recipient of the South Carolina
Broadcaster of the Year award. In 1992 he was presented the Master
Broadcaster Award by the South Carolina Association of Broadcasters,
the highest honor presented by that organization.
Phillips was inducted into the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame
in 1992 and attended the Hall of Fame induction banquet this past
Friday evening. In 1998 he received the Skeeter Francis Award from
the Atlantic Coast Conference Sportwriters Association for his
contributions to ACC athletics. He was the first radio personality
to receive the award.
In addition to his duties at Clemson, Phillips was the sports
director at WYFF TV from 1968-80 and the sports director at WFBC
Radio in Greenville for 25 years. He was also the voice of the
Greenville Braves from 1985-91.
Born in Youngstown, OH on April 23, 1934, Phillips attending
Ashland College in Ohio. He began his broadcasting career in 1953
at WATG Radio in Ashland, OH as a staff announcer. He worked for
three more stations in the Buckeye State before becoming the voice of
Kent State athletics in 1966. He was then hired by Frank Howard in
the summer of 1968.
Phillips is survived by his wife Ruth, son Jeff, daughter Terri,
grand daughter Erica and sister Janine Regan.
The visitation for Jim Phillips will be held in the President's Box
at Memorial Stadium, Thursday night, beginning at 7:00 p.m. Funeral
services will be held on Friday at 2:00 at the Abiding Peace Lutheran
Church, 401 Batesville Rd., in Simpsonville, SC.
Anyone wishing to send flowers may bring them to a memorial set up at
Howard's Rock. Cards and flowers may also be sent to the Clemson
Athletic Department at the following address:
Jervey Athletic Center
PO Box 31
Clemson, SC 29633
· Tiger Calls will be cancelled for this week
· At the request of the Phillips family, Sports Information
Director Tim Bourret will handle the play-by-play duties for this
week's game against Middle Tennessee.