It is with great sadness today that we report that the father of a Virginia football player was among those who were lost due to the plane crash in Alaska on Monday. Sophomore tight end Colter Phillips' father, Bill Sr., who was an attorney and Washington lobbyist, did not survive the same crash that also took former Alaska Senator Ted Stevens. Colter's brother, William "Willy" Phillips, Jr., was also on the plane passengers, and was one of four who fortunately survived the wreck.
Virginia head coach Mike London issued a statement today:
A member of our football family, Colter Phillips, lost his father William 'Bill' Sr., Monday in a plane crash that claimed several lives. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Phillips family and all the other families affected by this tragedy. Colter is currently with his family and we are committed to supporting him in any way possible.
Colter has two brothers who also play collegiate football. His older brother Andrew is a senior offensive guard at Stanford and his younger brother Paul is a freshman tight end at Indiana.
Bill Sr. had played football at Evansville from 1972-76.
Colter started in the six games in which he appeared last season and caught five passes for 34 yards in a system that simply did not utilize the tight ends. He also appeared in 121 plays on special teams last year.