Baylor relieves Phil Massey from football coaching duties

Staff file photo by Robin Rudd / Baylor football coach Phil Massey's Red Raiders lost 38-28 Friday night at home to MBA. It was the Big Red's 12th win in the past 14 meetings between the TSSAA Division II-AAA programs.
photo Staff file photo by Robin Rudd / Phil Massey, pictured, was the head coach of Baylor School's football program for the past 16 seasons.

After working as Baylor School's head football coach for more seasons than anyone in the past six decades, Phil Massey was relieved of his duties Thursday.

The school made the announcement through a news release.

Massey guided the Red Raiders for 16 years, reaching the TSSAA playoffs in all but two of those seasons, including consecutive Division II-AAA state runner-up finishes in 2010-11.

"It's been an honor and a privilege to coach at Baylor these past 16 years. Coaching for me has never been a job, it's been a way of life," an emotional Massey told the Times Free Press. "I have regrets never winning a championship for Baylor, but I do hope I had a positive effect on the young men who passed through our school."

Massey's tenure is the third longest in program history, ranking behind James Rike (1919-1937) and Humphrey "Humpy" Heywood (1940-60), the namesake of the Red Raiders' stadium. His tenure ranks just ahead of legendary former coach E.B. Red Etter (1970-83).

Massey compiled a 112-73 record at Baylor, with his teams advancing to at least the state semifinals six times and winning at least eight games in eight seasons.

"We are taking the program in a different direction," Baylor athletic director Mark Price said in the school's release. "Coach Massey has been a positive influence on countless players during his tenure.

"I am thankful for the leadership that he has provided our program for the past 16 seasons, and I wish him and his family the very best. Baylor will now begin the search for his replacement, which will conclude in a timely manner to ensure a successful transition for our program."

The program's next coach must find a way to snap the current six-game losing streak to rival McCallie. Despite Massey guiding the Red Raiders to five straight wins in the series (2009-13) and the two state runner-up finishes, McCallie's recent dominance in the Chattanooga rivalry and its three consecutive state championships have been a source of frustration at Baylor.

Massey, who has a 174-109 overall record, previously worked as an assistant at Memphis University School and prior to that was the head coach at Haywood High School in Brownsville, where he guided that program to back-to-back Class 4A state runner-up finishes in 1994-95.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.