CMS coach David Phillips dies at 50

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 29, 2003

Columbiana Middle School coach David Phillips, 50, of Hoover died following a massive heart attack Saturday


David Dixon, principal of CMS said: &uot;David Phillips never met a student that he couldn’t love. His outgoing personality and wit allowed him to be loved by all.

&uot;David realized the importance of making a connection with each and every student.

&uot;He did more than just teach: he coached, helps with ‘First Priority,’ and he took a personal day every year to work with special needs children during the Special Olympics.&uot;

Dixon explained that personal days are days off a teacher can take off for themselves.

&uot;He will not be replaced, even though we will fill his position,&uot; Dixon said.

CMS guidance counselor Jim Hyche reported that Phillips was officiating a basketball game at Pelham High School when he took a time-out to catch his breath.

Phillips began to suffer a massive heart attack. Two nurses came to his aid to revive him, and an ambulance was summoned.

Hyche reported, however, Phillips died en route to Shelby Baptist Medical Center in Alabaster.

&uot;The Shelby County School system has been great as far as offering their resources,&uot; said Dixon.

He said Superintendent Evan Major sent Deputy Superintendent John Wright and Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Charlotte Draper to meet the needs of teachers, students and staff at CMS.

Dixon also said Hyche coordinated the visit by six grief counselors to the school to &uot;help students deal with the loss.&uot;

Phillips, a graduate of Auburn University, served in the United States Navy from 1971-75.

He taught at Columbiana Middle School for 23 years.

He enjoyed coaching, officiating basketball and playing golf.

He was a member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church, where he served as an Area Leader for several years, and he liked to volunteer with the Special Olympics.

Phillips is survived by his wife, Beverley Wynne Phillips, daughter, Wynne Phillips, and mother, Dorothy Phillips, all of Hoover; and sister, Susan Shannon of Tennessee.

A private graveside service for Phillips was April 29 at 11:30 a.m. at Elmwood Cemetery.

At the same time, a memorial service was held at Briarwood Presbyterian Church in the chapel. Rideout’s Elmwood Chapel directing