Story by: John Baugh, J-1 correspondent

Four years ago, John Phillips took over as head coach for the Mills Godwin Football program.

Now, it is time to say goodbye to a man who has changed Godwin football forever.

In his first season as head coach, Phillips went 5-5. This past year, the Varsity football team went 7-3, and made the school’s first playoff appearance since the year 2000. Phillips’ overall record was 26-14.

Phillips, who originally came to Godwin to teach freshman English, resigned due to a new job opportunity as the administrator at a different school.

“I’ve always known that I’d want to become a principal once I decided to major in education and become a teacher.  I’ve enjoyed teaching and coaching; I like being in the trenches and helping students and athletes recognize their talents and potential.  While I will miss being in the classroom and on the football field, pursuing a career as an administrator will allow me to educate through leadership and affect change on a greater scale,” said Phillips.

Godwin Athletic Director Ryan Molloy has been on the search for a new head coach since around Mid-April.

“Ideally, we would like to have the new coach in place before the students leave for summer vacation.  However, that time line is contingent on making sure we find the right candidate to fill the position,” said Molloy.

Many memories were made during Phillips’ tenure as head coach. “I’ve had a lot great memories: goods wins and tough losses.  I really enjoy the moments when our seniors earned offers to play football at the next level.  Watching them react and celebrate is awesome.”

The game that was the most memorable was the Deep Run win in 2012.  A lot of points were scored and there was over a thousand yards of offense between both teams.  The team with the ball last was going to win that game; fortunately, it was us,” said Phillips.

Coach Phillips will be missed as the head football coach. “It’s just gonna be weird not seeing him at practice or on the sidelines,” says junior lineman, Kain Thomas.

When asked what he was going to miss the most, Phillips said, “Everything…but most of all the struggle and adversity that the game throws at you.  The grind of the offseason when you are in the weight room in the cold winter months; the early mornings during two-a-days in August; the locker room with the coaches and players, and the lights on Friday night.”


  1. Mary I Bruner 6 years ago

    Coach Phillips’ sense of fairness and his competitive spirit have impacted his students and his players . It is always sad to lose a strong teacher, successful coach and supportive colleague, but another school is about to have a VERY GOOD DAY! I am glad that Henrico County will continue to have such a terrific person on its team. Good Luck!

  2. Catherine Cooper 6 years ago

    Echoing Mrs. Bruner’s sentiments, our loss will truly be another school’s gain…we will miss you, Coach! Sending you wishes of good fortune at your new school!!

  3. Stephen Wozny 6 years ago

    What a difference a day makes! JP is back! Godwin wins in the last quarter! Phillips new Admin!!!

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