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The Man Behind the Field
Saturday, October 29, 2016

 Editor’s Note: Though retired for 17 years, Phil Homer still often makes his way to the Wood River High School football field where he stands—alone—and reminisces about his years shaping the lives of Wood River Valley youth on the gridiron. With the Wolverines chalking up a season of successes on the home green, we thought it would be fun to reminisce with Phil through this story and our accompanying Eye on Sun Valley video.


At his retirement dinner in June 1999, Phil Homer was curious about the tarp-covered object on the back of a trailer in the parking lot outside.

After the dinner, those honoring him escorted him into the parking lot and removed the tarp to reveal a large stone engraved with the words, “Phillip T. Homer Field” in honor of the 34 years he had served as teacher, coach and administrator with Blaine County Schools.

The stone was originally placed on the football field, which was sited where Wood River High School now stands. In 2002 it was moved to the new athletic field.

Phil grew up in Montpelier, Idaho and attended Utah State University. He began teaching in southern Idaho, received his master’s degree at Utah State and came to the Wood River Valley in 1966. Homer was an assistant football, assistant boys’ basketball and assistant track coach in addition to his teaching assignment and became the head boys’ basketball coach at Wood River High School in 1969. His 1969-1970 team won Wood River’s first district basketball championship.

In 1971 he began his administrative career as principal at Wood River Junior High School, later being selected as principal of Wood River High School. In 1989 he was asked to become interim superintendent of Blaine County Schools, the position he held until his retirement in 1999. He was a firm believer in teamwork in his new role.

“A great administrative team and staff plus the support of the community equals success,” he says.

Phil still works tirelessly as a representative of Blaine County Schools on issues before the state legislature in Boise. He has also been honored with induction into the Idaho Activity Association Hall of Fame. And still he gives much credit to the people with whom he worked: “Any success I have had was because I worked with great people.”

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