Youngstown State reaches back to step forward with Phillips

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – Doug Phillips has experienced the height of Youngstown State football. Now the Penguins’ new head coach will try to take them back to a championship level.

The 51-year-old Phillips, an assistant at Cincinnati the last three seasons, was formalized as Youngstown State’s eighth head coach on Friday. He succeeds Bo Pelini, who left after five seasons to become LSU’s defensive coordinator.

“I’ve been fortunate to work at great places to prepare me for this position,” Phillips said. “We’re going to play with fire and proudly represent our great university and community on and off the field.”

Like Pelini, Phillips is a Youngstown-area native. Pelini led the Penguins to the 2016 FCS national championship game, and Phillips broke into the coaching ranks in 1991 under coach Jim Tressel on a team that won the first of the school’s four NCAA Division I-AA (now FCS) national titles during a seven-season span.

Phillips, a Toledo graduate, also spent the 1992 season with Youngstown State’s national runner-up team while he earned a master’s degree. The legendary Tressel hired Phillips again in 2006 to join his staff at Ohio State, which won the FBS national title that year. Tressel has been Youngstown State’s president since 2014,

A longtime school administrator, Phillips has spent the majority of his nearly 25 years of coaching experience in Ohio high school ranks. He’s coached in the Bowling Green and Iowa State programs and joined Luke Fickell’s staff at Cincinnati in 2017 as the special teams coordinator and tight end coach before serving as running backs coach the past two seasons.

Youngstown State went 6-6 last season, but only 2-6 in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.

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