TOWSON — Towson University longtime football coach Phil Albert has died.
Albert was Towson’s head football coach for 20 years from 1972-91 and is the winningest coach in program history with 117 victories.
The three-time Kodak District II Coach of the Year turned Towson into a powerful program, going from a 1-9 team in 1972 to the Tigers’ undefeated 10-0 year in 1974.
He coached Towson to the 1976 NCAA DIII national championship game and three NCAA DII Tournaments, including the semifinals in 1984.
The Tigers ranked in the top-10 each season from 1983-86, including finishing No. 4 in DII in 1983. Albert guided the Tigers into the I-AA era before his retirement in 1991.
“Phil was revered by the players that played for him no matter what decade it was,” said Towson head coach Rob Ambrose. “He wanted to build better men; that was all he was about; football would take care of itself. He is a pillar of this program and this university. Who Phil Albert is, was and how he affected our lives resonates through the fabric of this program and will throughout its entirety. Prayers go out to the Albert family, there is no way this program or this institution will forget Phil Albert.”
Albert was an assistant for the Tigers from 1969-71, the first three years of the Towson program under head coach Carl Runk, and returned to the sidelines as an offensive coordinator from 2003-08 under head coach Gordy Combs.
Albert had a connection with all other Towson head football coaches, recruiting current coach Rob Ambrose as a player to Towson.
For his accomplishments, Coach Albert was inducted into the Towson Athletics Hall of Fame in 1994.
He coached 12 Associated Press All-Americans and eight Kodak All-Americans as well as three future National Football League players.
Along with being a football coach, Albert was a professor at Towson. The University of Arizona graduate was also a member of the Cambria County Sports Hall of Fame.