Former Tennessee State University women’s basketball coach and athletic director Teresa Phillips will be inducted into the Ohio Valley Conference Hall of Fame. Phillips was the first African-American female student-athlete at Vanderbilt and went on to win the Lady Commodore Athlete of the Year. She graduated from Vanderbilt in 1980.
As head coach of Lady Tigers basketball program from 1989-2000, Phillips guided the team to back-to-back OVC regular season and tournament championships in 1993-94 and 1994-95. During this time, she was also named OVC Coach of the Year twice. The 1993-94 squad won the OVC regular season and tournament crown and made its first-ever appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Overall she won 144 career games as head coach.
Phillips transitioned into the role of Associate Athletics Director in the 1999-00 season before being hired as the full-time Director of Athletics in April 2002. During her tenure, Tennessee State won 12 OVC Championships–five indoor track and field championships, three outdoor track and field championships, two volleyball titles and one women’s basketball championship.
She also had the distinction of being the first woman ever to coach an NCAA Division I men’s basketball team en route to being named one of the 101 Most Influential Minorities in Sports by Sports Illustrated in 2003. During the 2014 Women’s Final Four, she was named as a one of 10 Legends in Women’s Basketball in Tennessee. Philips was recognized as the Second Most Influential Woman in Sports in Tennessee by The Tennessean newspaper.
Phillips announced her retirement in October of 2019 and stepped away from her duties in June of 2020.