Former prep basketball coach Conley Phipps dies
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Monday, August 27, 2012
8/27/12 at 1:13 PM
Correction: A Monday Tulsa World Sports story incorrectly reported the date of a funeral for Conley Phipps, a longtime high school basketball coach in Oklahoma. Phipps died Sunday, and his funeral is 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Central Church of the Nazarene, 7291 E. 81st St. This story has been corrected.
Conley Phipps, a former longtime high school basketball coach in Oklahoma, died Sunday at a Tulsa hospital of complications from West Nile virus, the family said. He was 77.
Phipps, father of Oral Roberts University basketball assistant coach Conley Phipps II, was hospitalized in July complaining of extreme weakness, and he spent nearly seven weeks in the intensive care units of three Tulsa hospitals.
If confirmed, his would be the first death from the West Nile virus in Tulsa County this year.
Phipps amassed some 300 basketball victories over 18 seasons as a high school head coach, spending time at Skiatook (1962-71), Sperry (1972-75) and Cleveland (1979-84).
He was also vice principal at Cleveland for several years until his retirement in 1992.
Phipps' Skiatook teams won five conference championships, six district titles and reached the state tournament in 1967.
Between his stints at Sperry and Cleveland, Phipps spent three years working on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline.
Upon his return to Oklahoma, he coached junior high basketball at Pryor for a year before returning to the head-coaching ranks at Cleveland in 1979.
"I hadn't planned to get back into coaching, but I missed it," he told the Tulsa World at the time.
At Cleveland, he won four district titles, one regional crown, and coached his son, who became the Tigers' career scoring leader over four varsity seasons. In 1983, father and son were named Tulsa Six Conference coach and player of the year, respectively.
Since 1999 when his son joined the ORU staff, Phipps had followed the Golden Eagles extensively, making many cross-country car trips to see virtually all of the team's away games.
Phipps was born in Henryetta on April 2, 1935, and graduated from Collinsville High School, where he was part of district championship basketball teams.
Services are set for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Central Church of the Nazarene, 7291 E. 81st St.
Mike Brown 918-581-8390