George Howard “Jerry” Phipps, 92 of Vero Beach, Florida, passed away Friday, February 11, 2022, with his loving wife Joanie by his side. Born in Salisbury, Maryland June 21, 1929, son of Walter Thomas Phipps & Harriett E. Phipps (nee) Shephard.
George lived a robust and athletic life. He enjoyed dancing and dinner with friends. A skilled card player he enjoyed weekly games of Bridge and Poker. His prowess extended to the golf course shooting his age, or less, over 680 times and even shot a 70, at the age of 90.
George is most renowned for his many years coaching basketball. During the 1960’s, known as Coach Jerry Phipps, he coached City College to many Maryland Scholastic Association championships, at one point scoring a 40-win streak. In the last 7 seasons they never finished lower than tied for 1st place. During the 1970’s and 80’s, he coached the Baltimore City Community College (now CCBC) team to 360 victories, 12 JUCO championships and 5 regional community college titles over 14 seasons. Throughout his career, he logged more than 600 wins at the high school and college level. Recognition of his many achievements is memorialized in four Halls of Fame: Western Maryland College, City College, CCBC, and JUCO. He was honored 6 times as “Coach of The Year” by the Junior College Association Region 20. Once retired, he continued to lend his coaching skills as a volunteer in Vero Beach.
In the summer of his 92nd year, Coach Phipps fulfilled a dream by authoring and publishing his first book titled “How to Coach Basketball: Necessary Steps to Achieve Championship Status”. Although the book is about Basketball, the sport that made him a coaching legend in Baltimore, there are life lessons included as well. As important as the game may have been to Coach, it was equally important to him to mentor his players and prepare them for the challenges they would face in life ahead. His success is evidenced by the outpouring of affection, at the news of his passing, from the hundreds of young men he once mentored. Now, as adults, they recount how they now instill in their children, the lessons they learned from Coach, many of which changed the course of their own lives. For Coach Phipps, such stories are the real victories and his legacy.
George had a strong devotion to his God and Country. He was an Elder in his Church and served honorably in the U.S. Army during the Korean War.
George is survived by his wife Joanie Van0ostrom-Phipps; brother Charles Phipps of Baltimore; sister Barbara Parker of Salisbury, MD; daughter Leslie Stout & granddaughter Mackenzie of Washington State; Grandson Patrick Phipps & Great-Grandson AJ of Baltimore, MD., and stepsons Jarryd VanOostrom and Eric VanOostrom. He is predeceased by his son Michael Phipps and brother Walter Phipps.
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