Phillips has triple bypass surgery

Updated: July 11, 2005, 7:28 PM ET
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- Bum Phillips, who led the Houston Oilers during the "Luv Ya Blue" era of the late 1970s and later coached the New Orleans Saints, is expected to make a full recovery from heart surgery, his doctors said Monday.

Phillips, 81, who lives on his horse ranch in Goliad, had been transferred by ambulance to Houston after having chest pains, said Ronald Mahoney, a cardiologist with Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital.

Doctors discovered blockage in his arteries and performed triple bypass surgery on Friday. No evidence of heart damage was found, Mahoney said.

Phillips, who had experienced some symptoms of heart problems recently, was in intensive care Monday.

His son Wade, who is the defensive coordinator for the San Diego Chargers, said his father joked as he was going into surgery that if the operation didn't work, he expected to receive double his money back.

"He just wants to get back on his ranch," Wade Phillips said during a news conference Monday.

Phillips coached the Oilers from 1975-80 and became an icon in the city. He was responsible for drafting Earl Campbell in 1978.

He was fired on New Year's Eve of 1980 after the Oilers lost a playoff game to the Oakland Raiders.

He then coached the Saints from 1981-85 before retiring to his ranch.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press