The legendary Coach Phil McNeely received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Duncanville ISD Saturday at the inaugural basketball showcase named in his honor – the Phil McNeely Classic. Players from each era of his basketball coaching career in Duncanville showed up for the ceremony to honor this influential leader.
The former players included professional basketball players, high school basketball coaches, a sports announcer, businessmen, parents of current players and more.
Prior to retirement in 2010, Coach McNeely became the longest tenured Duncanville High School head basketball coach with 25 years. Under his leadership, the Duncanville High School boys basketball team won three state championship titles in 1991, 1999 and 2007.
Coach McNeely, who has served as a member of the Duncanville ISD Board of Trustees since the year he retired, credited his family with his ability to serve the school and community for so long, especially his wife, Renee McNeely.
Throughout Saturday’s McNeely Classic, Coach McNeely hugged each of his former players and took multiple photographs. He told many of them that it was an honor to coach them and continue to be involved in their lives.
During the Lifetime Achievement Award ceremony, Duncanville ISD Superintendent Dr. Marc Smith described the many ways Coach McNeely influenced the Duncanville community.
“In education you have the opportunity to impact the lives of the young people you work with. Coach McNeely embodies what an educator really is,” said Dr. Smith. “Coach McNeely used basketball as a vehicle to touch the lives of many, many young people. They have gone on to do some great things and be successful.
“When you look around this room, people took the time to come and celebrate you,” Dr. Smith said. “They could have been a lot of different places but this is where they wanted to be because you made a difference in their lives.”