Digger Phelps

Born in Beacon, New York on July 4, 1941, Richard Phelps, is a retired American college basketball coach. “Digger” Phelps was the coach of Notre Dame Fighting Irish Men’s basketball team coach for two decades spanning from 1971 to 1991. Phelps then worked with ESPN as a college basketball studio and game analyst. He did a short stint working for the government in between.

“Digger” Phelps was married to Teresa Godwin Phelps and has three grown up children. His oldest daughter Karen has married baseball pitcher Jamie Moyer. The other two children Rick, lives in Amsterdam; and Jennifer,  lives in New Jersey.There is no details available on the date or year of Digger Phelps’ marriage to Terese Godwin Phelps, but it is generally said that they were married more than twenty five years ago. Recently, there is a talk about divorce too, though again there are no particulars available other than that.

Both of them seem to have had a good life together and Phelps has encouraged his wife Teresa to do further studies. Both of them have written books. He co-authored his biography “Undertaker’s Son: Life Lessons from a Coach". Teresa "Terry" has done her Bachelors, Masters and Phd. from Notre Dame University. She has been a supportive wife all along and her autobiography is titled "The coach's wife". There is not much information about Phelps on any affairs or girlfriends during his marriage with Teresa or after his divorce.

Phelps had other interests like books, art and opera. He appeared in a cameo role in “Orpheus in the Underworld” and he played the role of the God of Wine, Bacchus in April 2006. According to him,  Phelps is an actor, known for A Season on the Brink (2002), The UCLA Dynasty (2007) and 16th Annual American Century Championship (2005). He was an avid reader who liked history. He loved Van Gogh and got into painting around 1990. He seems to draw inspiration from the books he reads.

Phelps used to play basketball at Rider College, which is now Rider University and later on started his job as a graduate coaching assistant way back in 1963. He then moved on to St. Gabriel’s High School which in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. His first job as a full time assistant was at the University of Pennsylvania in 1966. He moved on to Fordham University to be the head coach in 1970. As the head coach, he led the team Fordham Rams in the 1970-1971 Season to a record win of 26-3. Since then, he had been with Notre Dame University as the head coach for twenty years from 1971 to 1991. Digger Phelps is seen as an excellent coach who gave much importance to education too.

Though there are sites which say that he was diagnosed with bladder cancer in April 2013, doctors seem to have given him the all clear in just a couple of months. His net worth is estimated to be $15 million.

Last Modified: Apr 8, 2020

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