Former Auburn All-American and Conference USA Coach of the Year, Kelly Phillips enters her fourth year on the Boilermaker track and field coaching staff. Her coaching responsibilities are with the women's cross country and distance squads.
Phillips also saw a great deal of improvement from her initial recruiting class with the Boilermakers last season, guiding all of them to career-best times and solid contribution across the board. Standout examples were Katie Morrical and Ashlee Lengacher. Morrical saw a great improvement on the cross country course in 2007, posting the Boilermakers' top 5K time on the Purdue Varsity Cross Country Course at 17:39.20. Morrical set the mark at the Indiana Intercollegiate Championships, leading the squad to win the event for the first time in Phillips's tenure, totaling 49 points and finishing 25 points ahead of the second-place team. Lengacher provisionally qualified for the NCAA Indoor Championships in the 800-meter run with a career-best time of 2:08.75, and advanced to the NCAA Mideast Regionals in the outdoor season, with a top time of 2:09.77.
Phillips's squad was solid in 2007, sending a pair of runners to NCAA Regional qualification and grabbing places at the indoor and outdoor Big Ten Championships. Corrie Whisner took home the bronze in the indoor 3,000-meter run and eighth place in the outdoor 1,500-meter run, while Laura Farley finished sixth in the indoor 800-meter run and qualified for the finals in the outdoor 1,500. The pair both advanced to the regional championships in the outdoor 1,500, where they both qualified for the finals and placed seventh and 10th, respectively. Whisner also made it to the NCAA Indoor Championships in the one-mile run, narrowly missing the finals and placing 12th in the country. The two standouts also led the Boilermakers to school records in the indoor and outdoor distance medley relays (DMR). They clocked a time of 11:17.96 at the Notre Dame Alex Wilson Invitational and set the indoor mark, and posted a mark of 11:26.60 to finish fourth in the Championship of America heat at the prestigious Penn Relays, smashing the outdoor record.
In her first season with the Boilermakers, Phillips found most of her success in the Purdue 3,000-meter steeplechase record holder Amber Ferner. Ferner scored at both the Big Ten and NCAA Regional Championships, taking seventh in the conference and eighth in the region. She also placed at the Penn Relays, taking seventh with a season-best time. Farley and Whisner also entered the scoring column for the Boilermakers for the first time in their careers, placing in the 800-meter and one-mile runs, respectively, at the Big Ten Indoor Championships.
Prior to coming to West Lafayette, Phillips spent five years (1997-2001) at the University of South Florida, where she guided 33 track and cross country student-athletes to NCAA appearances as both associate and head coach.
During her stay in Tampa, Phillips earned Conference USA cross country women's Coach of the Year citations in 1998 and 1999, plus the cross country men's Coach of the Year Award in 2000. In 2001, Phillips was named Conference USA track and field women's Coach of the Year.
Phillips also was recognized on the national level, receiving three-straight NCAA Cross Country South Region Coach of the Year titles from 1998 to 2000. She also stressed the importance of academics as four of her cross country teams received Academic All-American recognition. She's continued this tradition at Purdue, earning USTFCCCA Academic All-America honors in each of the past three years, and taking home the Boilermakers' President's Cup in the last two, awarded annually to the team on campus with the top grade point average.
Phillips is one of the most decorated distance runners in Auburn history, having held 14 different school records. In addition to winning All-America certificates in the 1,500 and 3,000-meter runs, Phillips also qualified for the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Trials (1,500). In 1995, Phillips won the 1,500 title at the Olympic Festival and was fifth at the Pan-American Games.
Phillips and her husband, Mike, have two sons, Michael and Connor.