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Former T&T Football Federation Technical Director, Lincoln “Tiger” Phillips, was presented with the prestigious 2020 Walt Chyzowych Lifetime Achievement Award for his stalwart contributions to the development of football in the US.

Phillips, 78, received this auspicious accolade alongside former US women’s national team and two-time FIFA Women’s World Cup winning coach, Jill Ellis, at the United Soccer Coaches Annual Convention which was held at the Baltimore Convention Centre on January 18. This award is presented annually in recognition of a lifetime of dedication to preserving the spirit of the game, advancing its level of play and promoting growth among youth and adults in the US.

“I am deeply honoured to receive this most auspicious award,” said the one-time T&T custodian. “Walt Chyzowych was a dominant force in the development of American soccer and to be so recognized brings joy to my heart. I am equally delighted sharing the spotlight with former award winners, and now Jill Ellis, a wonderful coach in every sense of the word.”

After earning bronze at the 1967 Pan American Games, Phillips was drafted into the American Soccer League (ASL) as a player/coach. Over the next three years, “Tiger” won Coach of the Year, All-Star Team goalkeeper (both with Washington Darts), became a member of the North ASL All-Star Team and even played against Pele (Santos) in an exhibition match in 1970. It was at Howard University in 1970 however, Phillips made his mark as a full-time coach, leading them to the school’s first ever National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) final-four in any sport, in his first season at the age of 29.

In 1971, he coached Howard to the NCAA Division 1 Championship, making them the first historically black college to win it. However, the NCAA controversially stripped Howard of its title for alleged player eligibility violations. Undeterred, Phillips then led Howard to win the NCAA title again in 1974 and was awarded Coach of the Year for both seasons.

During his 11-year tenure at Howard, Phillips compiled a commanding record of 117 wins, 19 draws and 11 losses. After Howard, at which Phillips also earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree, he served for five years at director of coaching for the Maryland State Youth Soccer Association and worked with Chyzowych as a member of the national coaching staff for US Soccer.

The Lincoln Phillips Soccer School (1975-2004) produced many US national youth team players while others went on to receive scholarships and play at top universities. His “Top- Flight Goalkeeping Academy” produced some of the nation’s top goalkeepers and goalkeeping coaches.

Phillips was also coach of Virginia Commonwealth University (1989-1994), leading them to a top 20 twenty ranking in 1993 and also served as goalkeeping coach for Loyola University’s Women’s Soccer Programme (2013-14).

The veteran was named a FIFA Staff Goalkeeper Instructor (1995-96) conducting coaching clinics and workshops for FIFA in the Caribbean and Asia and later as technical director for the then TTFF. He was also the author of “Goalkeeping: The last line of defence, the first line of attack” and “Call Me Coach”.

On January 17, 2020, the T&T Football Association appointed Phillips to the position of ambassador of the North America Talent Identification and Player Pool Programme (TIPP).

SOURCE: T&T Newsday