"Super Bowl of Coaching Clinics" Keeps San Angelo in the Center of Football Universe
SAN ANGELO, TX-- With names like Jimbo Fisher, Nick Saban and Kliff Kingsbury coming to town for the 45th annual Angelo Football Clinic, people who do not know the history of the annual event would think San Angelo is finally getting on the map.
But it’s been on the map in the eyes of football coaches from across the country for nearly half a century.
“This is the Super Bowl of Coaching Clinics,” new Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher said of San Angelo clinic. “I’ve spoken here before. It’s great. It’s great knowledge and it’s an honor to speak here.”
The first official clinic was held in 1973 with coaches unofficially meeting in Tom Green County in 1971 and 1972.
Ahead of Fisher speaking, coaches of college and high school teams, alike, snaked through the throng of vendors in the practice gym and hallways of the Junell Center at Angelo State University before finding a seat inside the Stephens Arena.
There, a platform sat in front of the crowd, much like it did for names like former ASU head coach Jerry Vandergriff, Texas A&M legend Gene Stallings, as well as two generations of Phillips beginning with legendary Houston Oilers coach Bum, who started the event, and his son Wade, who has coached the Dallas Cowboys and Houston Texans.
Wade’s son Wes, the tight ends coach for the Washington Redskins, will be the third generation of the Phillips lineage to speak at the event.
Coaches from as far west as California made the trek to the event. University of Texas-El Paso Special Teams Coordinator Joe Robinson, who spoke first at the clinic, recalled a car ride from Louisiana to the Concho Valley in the early years of the clinic, which shows the reach from the event and the impact it leaves on those who attend.
West Orange-Stark head coach Cornel Thompson, who also spoke today, jokingly told organizers that he could retire now that he has been asked to speak at the clinic.
Fisher, who spoke for the first time representing a Texas school, admits there was a warmer welcome for him in the Concho Valley.
“But it all depends on who’s fans you’re with,” laughed the 2018 coverboy of Dave Campbell’s Texas Football Magazine. “But it’s very good to be a part of Texas and the great high school football tradition, the great college football tradition and the great pro football tradition.”
Fisher and Saban won’t be the only big names gracing the stage during the three-day event.
The Texas Tech staff, including head coach Kliff Kingsbury, will be in a Q&A session with coaches after Defensive Coordinator David Gibbs speaks about Pass Defense and Turnovers tomorrow before Saban takes the stage at 2 p.m.
Angelo State alum and head coach of Texas A&M-Commerce Colby Carthel will speak at 5 p.m. on Wednesday to close out the day. Texas A&M-Commerce won the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2017.