Clemson University Director of Athletics Terry Don Phillips has announced plans to retire from the position he has held for 10 years, and university President James F. Barker said a national search for a successor will be launched this fall.
Phillips had previously briefed Barker and the Board of Trustees about his plans.
“As I am now in the final year of my contract, I have decided to publicly announce my retirement plans, so that President Barker can have as much time and flexibility as is needed to conduct a search and ensure a smooth transition in leadership,” Phillips said. “I’m very proud of what we have accomplished at Clemson, and I believe the future for the athletics program is bright.”
“Clemson is a better university because of Terry Don Phillips,” Barker said. “His integrity, dedication and business insights have made Clemson’s athletics programs stronger financially, academically and competitively. Under his leadership, I believe Clemson has established a model athletics program — one that is characterized by full compliance, success on the field of competition, and recognition that student-athletes are students first. I have asked Terry Don to continue as Athletic Director until we have his replacement.”
Highlights of Phillips tenure include 57 top twenty-five finishes, 13 ACC championship, 77 winning seasons by teams and being bowl eligible in football every year.
During the Phillips decade, Clemson has been nationally recognized for its academic progression rates and had a record 2.99 overall grade-point-average (GPA) by student athletes for the spring semester of 2012. On average, 53 percent of Clemson student athletes have had at least a 3.0 GPA over the last 10 years. Each of the top seven overall GPA semesters have taken place in the last 10 years.
Financial stability has been a hallmark of the Phillip’s era. The athletic program has invested more than $140 million in facilities, attracted and retained top coaches, built financial reserves and kept debt at a low level. In an environment where high profile college teams have faced severe NCAA compliance issues and penalties, Clemson has not received one letter of inquiry.
Phillips was recognized by the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics as the 2005-06 GeneralSports Turf Systems Athletic Director-of-the-Year for the Southeast Region of the Football Bowl Series. Earlier this year, the Bleacher Report sports media website named Phillips one of the nation’s top 25 athletic directors.
Barker said his goal is to have a successor named by the time Phillips’ contract ends in July 2013 so that there is no need to appoint an interim director.
Terry Don Phillips: Program Accomplishments the Last 10 Years
Quote from Clemson Men’s Basketball Coach Brad Brownell on Terry Don Phillips:“I am very grateful to the opportunity he gave me to come to Clemson two years ago. He has been terrific to work for, and he has helped me develop a vision for the future of this program. That is especially evident as we progress towards the building of the new basketball practice facility.
“One great attribute that Terry Don has is that he is a great listener. He pays attention to what you have to say. He thinks through your suggestions. He also lets you do your job. The fact that he was a coach probably contributes to this and is a reason he has been a great AD for a long time.”
Quote from Clemson Football Coach Dabo Swinney on Terry Don Phillips:“I am happy for him and his wife Trish. They will have an opportunity to do some things they have never been able to do. We talked about it a couple of times and he is at peace with the decision.
“I just love him. He is a great man, who is a man with class, integrity and he has vision. He is a man with some guts…he had the guts to hire me four years ago for this position. It was a special moment last year when I was able to hand him that ACC Championship trophy in Charlotte.
“What he has done with the facilities in all our sports has been incredible. He has given us a chance to compete at the highest level and has changed the playing field here. We just moved into a new dining facility in the West Endzone and next year at this time we will be in a new Indoor Practice Facility. They ought to name it after him.”
Quote from ACC Commissioner John Swofford on Terry Don Phillips:“Terry Don is an outstanding Athletic Director that is well respected among his peers both in the ACC and across the country. He’s not only a superb administrator but he’s a good friend and valued colleague. He has meant and continues to mean a lot to all of us in the ACC.”
April 18, 2019