PROFILE: Father and Coach, Davy does it all


Jeremy Ford

Coach Davy Phillips laughs as he shares a win with his team. His family was in attendance, cheering him on.

Here in college, a lot of people have to be full-time students and part-time workers. Some students have to stabilize being an athlete while others have the struggle of being head of clubs or organizations. We all have multiple things going on in our lives, but no one keeps them as balanced as head women’s soccer coach, Davy Phillips.

Phillips has been exposed to soccer for most of his life. He has been coaching soccer since 1999, starting out running a rec team in high school. His professional career started in 2005 and he has been coaching at Washburn since 2016. Phillips has been professionally coaching soccer for 17 years. He has been an incredibly successful coach for Washburn, but coaching isn’t his only spectacular feature.

Phillips has been a father for 8 years, and his team has been beside him every step of the way. Phillips has two daughters and both youngsters may as well be a part of the team. These kids are at the games, cheering on their “teammates” and at practice watching the team work hard and laugh together. And in return, the team attends the girls’ soccer games with poster boards, cheering them both on.
“My kids really look up to them, they think that what the team does is really cool,” said Phillips.

It means a lot to Phillips that his daughters have such good role models in their lives and it also teaches his players the importance of how you want other people to look at you. Being a role model for anyone, not just kids, is a huge responsibility that no one should take lightly. Giving these players that responsibility of being the best possible person they can be is a lesson that they will take with them for the rest of their lives. Phillips’s family has taught him a lot of lessons, too.

“Being a father gives you a patience you can’t describe until you’re a father, and so I’ve taken that patience into coaching naturally and developed more patience with my team. I’m in that situation now of the frustrations of not trapping a ball correctly don’t parallel to the frustrations of teaching how to be honest, to be responsible, all those things you teach as a parent,” said Phillips.

Phillips has learned a lot about coaching through analyzing strategy and playing, but he has learned just as much about himself and coaching through his family. Phillips has learned a lot from his family, and part of that he is passing on is making his team his second family.

“Girls leave family to come here, so we support and we foster a family feel for them. It’s something they’ve always had growing up and then all of a sudden for the first time in their life they’re removed from their family dynamic. How do I make that family feel? I share my family with them.” said Phillips.

Phillips cares a lot for his team and his players, and senior and defender Carlee Thompson is very appreciative for that.

“Davy has become a huge part of my life from being a great coach on the soccer field to a father figure and supporter off of the field. He truly is a family guy and emphasizes the importance of it. He never fails to show us his love and support for us and treats us like we are part of his family,” said Thompson. “Davy is someone I can always count on and know he would do anything to help our team succeed. Beyond the field he wants to help us grow and will always put that first. I have loved getting to know him and his family, they are one of a kind and are so genuine, welcoming, and loving of all of us girls. I know that when the time comes and I am no longer a college athlete, Davy will always be there to support me and offer help.”

Phillips has a great relationship with his players, and that bond is reflecting how he cares for his children.

Being a coach means you see girls come through your program, grow as individuals, and then fly off into the world. He has to send seniors off every year, but I don’t think that will make his daughter’s graduation any easier.

“I cry every senior night, my goodness. Girls who have graduated now since I’ve been here are having kids, so you share that dynamic with them. I serve as kind of a father figure here on campus and then when they have kids I get to share that with them. I can only hope it’s preparing me for my daughters when they reach that age.” said Phillips.

Phillips coaches soccer for a living, but he is a full-time dad and husband when it comes down to it. Phillips loves his family to the moon and back, and he has the amazing opportunity to extend that gift of family to his team and his players.

Edited by: LeSha’ Davis, Alijah McCracken