The 2019-20 season is the first for Faragi Phillips as an assistant coach at Vanderbilt. Phillips came to Vanderbilt after serving as the head coach at Memphis’ Whitehaven High School for four seasons.
Phillips oversees individual skill development and assist with scouting opponents, practice planning, player behavior, recruiting and academics.
Phillips has earned the reputation as a fierce competitor, whose teams have always displayed discipline, toughness and a great defensive prowess.
Prior to his stint with Whitehaven, Phillips spent four years at Memphis’ Mitchell High School (2011-15), leading the tigers to four straight TSSAA State Tournament appearances and back-to-back state championships during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Mitchell had only won seven games over a two-year span prior Phillips’ arrival. Phillips compiled a 108-29 record over a four-year span, while also winning four consecutive sectional championships, four straight regional championships, and three city/county championships.
During his time at Whitehaven (2015-2019), Phillips turned the Tigers into a perennial powerhouse. In each of Phillips’ four seasons as head coach, the Tigers won 20 games or more. In 2018 and 2019, Phillips led Whitehaven to back-to-back state tournament appearances, finishing as the state runner-up in 2017 and a quarterfinalist in 2018. In 2017, Phillips’ team defeated nationally-ranked Huntington Prep in the ARC Hoopfest Classic, and a year later in 2018, defeated Chicago’s Whitney Young. Phillips compiled a 91-30 record as the head coach of Whitehaven.
Phillips worked with Memphis-based AAU Circuit Programs Team Thad and Bluff City Legends (formerly Team Penny). In 2013-14, he coached with the Team Thad organization which featured notable players Terrence Davis (Ole Miss), LaGerald Vick (Kansas) and Jeremiah Martin (Memphis), who also played for Phillips while at Mitchell. In 2016-17, Phillips coached Team Penny and notable players James Wiseman (Memphis), DJ Jeffries (Memphis), Alex Lomax (Memphis) and Chandler Lawson (Oregon).
Phillips played collegiately at Mississippi Valley State State from 1995-99, leading the team to the 1996 NCAA Tournament where they faced the Allen Iverson-led Georgetown. A SWAC first team all-conference performer, Phillips averaged 12.6 points in his four-year career and 20.9 points as a senior.
A native of Decatur, Illinois, Phillips later moved to Holcomb, Mississippi.
He is married to Dr. Lori Phillips, and together they have five children — Malika, Kylan, Ragi, Kolby and Lorin.