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Phillips resigning as Richlands basketball coach

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Richlands, Va. – A new coach will lead the Richlands boys’ basketball team in the last weeks of the season.

 At its Jan. 10 meeting the Tazewell County School accepted the resignation of Fred Phillips effective Jan. 30 and appointed Jim Graham as his replacement.  Phillips reportedly had another employment opportunity.

Graham had been an assistant under Phillips for five seasons before resigning this past September.  He has coached in the county for several years and served as middle school and junior varsity boys’ coach at Tazewell and was an assistant varsity girls’ coach under Jason Southworth at Tazewell.

He has also coached youth and travel ball teams.  Graham said he was asked by school officials to step in and finish out the season.  Graham said he loves basketball and was happy to help out. If there are no postponements Richlands will have three regular season games and tournament play left when Graham takes over.

He said the kids are his number one priority and he will work to make the transition smooth and the remainder of the season a good experience for the players. Richlands took a 7-4 record into its Jan. 11 district opener against Graham.

Phillips played at Richlands and Bluefield College and served as a coach at some level in Richlands since 1989. He served as the head girls coach and was a boys’ assistant under Tom Rife, Jim McGee and Jody Fuller.

He took the reins of the boys’ varsity in 2015. The team made its first ever state tournament appearance under Phillips.  

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