LAUREL, Del.- The Laurel High School football program is entering its fifth year with Glenn Phillips Jr. as the head coach.
Phillips has a passion for Bulldog football that supersedes most. He is a '99 graduate and played middle linebacker for Laurel.
Phillips has been an active coach for 15 years at Laurel High. He describes his five years as the head coach as a "dream job," one that he turned down bigger opportunities for.
What makes Phillips special doesn't subsist in his tenure. His hometown-passion is like no other. Phillips has the Bulldogs football helmet tattooed on his arm to prove it.
"It tells you where my heart is at and where I'm going to be for a while until they decide to fire me or I retire," Phillips said.
His tattoo isn't his biggest action of Bulldog pride. The time he spends with his student athletes on and off the field is where his heart is.
"I want the boys to do what their supposed to do in the community, inside this classroom and on the football field," Phillips said. "At the end of the day we are going to be great leaders and great community members. That is what we are striving to do."
Bulldog football is a family affair for Phillips. His father, Glenn Phillips Sr., is also a member of the coaching staff, along with other Laurel alum.
"He's a father figure to basically everybody. He tries his best to keep everyone in line, school-wise and in the community," Senior defensive end Shyheim Holden said. "If someone doesn't have a ride to school, he'll find a ride for them."
Phillips' passion for Laurel football rubs off on his players. He occasionally sits them down to let me view inspirational football stories so they can mentally prepare for football and life.
"Growing up in a city environment, sometimes [the videos] resembles what my kids go through," Phillips said. "We are father figures and our coaches are like parents. None of our coaches really care about what we have to give out of our pocket to these kids."
Under Phillips' leadership, the Bulldogs went to the DIAA Division two state playoff game last season. It was a magical run but they lost to Hodgson Vo-Tech, 42-0.
The playoff run rallied to community.
"It's almost like this football program brought this community back to where it was a brought the pride and tradition back," Phillips said.