ABILENE – After more than 30 years in coaching and athletics administration – including serving as the Abilene ISD Executive Director of Athletics since 2015 – Phil Blue announced Wednesday morning that he is retiring, effective May 31, 2022.
Abilene ISD Superintendent Dr. David Young said a search would begin immediately for Blue’s successor with the goal of presenting a recommendation for hire to the Board of Trustees at their March 7 meeting, followed by an approximate start date of Monday, May 2.
“Phil Blue and I had the good fortune to be hired in AISD at roughly the same time in the summer of 2015,” Young said. “It was quickly obvious to me that Phil is an extremely gifted administrator that loves the students, staff and community that he serves. I have been blessed to work alongside him for almost seven years and absolutely wish him the very best as he ends an educational career that is marked by integrity, compassion and service.”
Blue was hired by the AISD Board of Trustees on May 11, 2015, after a career that saw him serve as a director of athletics, campus athletics coordinator, assistant coach and head football coach. He served five years as the offensive coordinator at Abilene High School (2001-05) where he worked under head coach Steve Warren and coached alongside future AHS head coaches Del Van Cox and Mike Fullen.
Cox now serves as the district’s Assistant Director of Athletics and Fullen will be in his fourth season as the Eagles’ head coach in 2022.
“The past seven years working in Abilene ISD have been an honor and privilege,” Blue said. “I have been blessed to call Dr. David Young my supervisor, and, more importantly, my friend. I will miss working with all of the members of the AISD athletics staff, but I believe it’s time for new leadership ideas and a new vision within the athletics department.”
Blue joined the AISD administrative staff in May 2015 after serving as the Executive Director of Athletics for the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD for one year (2014-15). He was also the Director of Athletics at Georgetown ISD from 2005-2014. Under his leadership, high schools from Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and Georgetown ISD consistently finished in the top 10 of the UIL Lone Star Cup standings.
Abilene ISD athletics teams have enjoyed tremendous success under Blue’s leadership with 18 different teams at Abilene High School and Cooper High School qualifying for the playoffs in 2020-21.
“I am proud to say that every goal that was set by the athletics leadership team back in the spring of 2016 has been achieved,” said Blue, who last April was honored as the Region 2 Athletics Director of the Year by the Texas High School Athletics Directors’ Association. “I want to express a special thank you to Del Van Cox, Chuck Griffin, Bobby Black, Jerry Gayden, Judy Levrets, Irene Garcia, and Mike Raughton for making the athletics office a great place to work every day.”
Blue’s first head coaching opportunity occurred when he was 24 years old and he served for 19 years as the Head Football Coach for the following schools: Georgetown High School, Farmersville High School, Mineral Wells High School, Quinlan Ford High School, Celeste High School, and Texas Christian Academy.
Blue was a two-sport standout for Greenville High School, quarterbacking the football team to an undefeated regular season in 1980. Blue earned five letters and earned all-district honors in football and basketball and in 2016 he was inducted into the school’s Athletics Hall of Fame.
Blue was earlier named quarterback of Greenville’s 1980s all-decade team. In basketball, he was a three-year starter and all-district guard. He also was named Outstanding Senior for the Class of 1981 by the Greenville High School faculty. Blue went on to play quarterback at Texas-Arlington under coach Chuck Curtis, earning three letters and leading the Mavericks in total offense in 1984.
Blue and his wife, Cinda, have four daughters: Lacy Almeida (AHS graduate) is an Art teacher at Lake Dallas High School and is married to Frank Almeida. Samantha Jo Magee is the Chief Prosecutor in the CPS Division of the Taylor County District Attorney’s office and is married to Jordan Magee. Rikki Blue is an Occupational Therapist employed in the Austin area, and Alyssa Blue (AHS graduate) is the Assistant County Auditor for Taylor County. Coach Blue and Cinda also have two grandsons, Willie and Judson Almeida and another grandson (Magee) due in March.