Phipps Leaves Legacy Of Success

Veteran teacher and football offensive coordinator retires with three state championships on his resume


Coach Hancel Phipps (third from the left) poses with the football coaching staff. To his left is head coach Reginald Lucas.

Vianey Hinojo, Sports Editor

Long-time football Offensive Coordinator and history teacher Hancel Phipps retired from teaching and coaching this past December.

Phipps taught and coached here for a decade. He feels blessed that he was able to be a part of this program during its amazing run from 2014-2020, during which we won six straight conference championships and three straight state championships.

“I spent the past 10 years at Wake Forest because of the incredible sense of family I found in this program. Coach Lucas has built an incredible program that is competing for state championships each year, but at the same time was instilling the ideas of Commitment, Accountability, and Trust in the players,” Phipps said. “This was something that I believed in and wanted to be a part of helping the program achieve these goals.”

Lucas and Phipps go way back and have developed a great friendship along
the way.

“Coach Phipps has been a blessing to our football program. The best memories with coach Phipps are playing and winning three consecutive State Championships,” Lucas said. “A funny memory is his first game working with me and our QB threw an interception and I turned to him and said, ‘It’s your fault.’ His facial expression was priceless. Needless to say, we won that game, a ton more since.”

Phipps earned many achievements, on and off the field and has played a big role in his players’ lives.

“I believe that the greatest accomplishment any coach achieves in their career is seeing the young men who succeed in life outside of football. You don’t measure success in wins and losses, or championships won. Success is seeing our former players as they progress through their lives as husbands, father’s and members of our communities.”

The lifetime friendships that he has have developed and lots of small funny moments are some of his best memories from coaching at our school. Phipps said he would change nothing about his time spent at Wake Forest.

Phipps offers advice to future players.

“Be Coachable. Listen to what your coaches are telling you. They only have your best interests at heart, even when they are getting on.”

Phipps’ plan for retirement is to remain in Wake Forest and enjoy relaxing. He said that he will miss the relationships with his fellow coaches and the players. He spends more time together with a team than we do with our own families, so he will miss that the most.

As Phipps goes into retirement, he also has a few words of wisdom to future coaches.

“Don’t expect to get rich coaching. Make sure that you’re doing it because you enjoy being around young people and want to mentor them both as individuals and athletes.