By Adam Baum, Cincinnati Enquirer
SHARONVILLE - Jill Phillips couldn't stay away, not very long anyway.
Princeton High School announced April 25 the Board of Education had approved Phillips to return to her old post as girls basketball head coach.
Phillips coached the Vikings from 2002-2014 and won a Division I state championship in 2014, before coaching at Lakota East the past two seasons.
"Gary Croley reached out to me in early April, maybe late March, and he told me they had an opening and that I was the first person on his list to call," said Phillips. "Originally, I told him I was doubtful but I would listen. I met with Gary, the principal and eventually the superintendent.
"I live in the district, a half mile from the high school. I had a lot of great memories at Princeton; that's where my heart was and I wanted to be back there."
During her initial 12 years at Princeton, Phillips led the Vikings to a 243-47 record with eight Greater Miami Conference championships and seven district titles.
Since she left, Princeton has undergone quite the renovation. After accepting the job, Phillips said she's taken a tour of the new facilities.
"The facility is awesome ... it's a top-class facility," she said.
In the two seasons since she left, the Vikings have struggled going a combined 17-30.
"When I started the job in '02, I wasn't from Cincinnati," said Phillips, originally from Shelbyville, Tenn. "I didn't know anything about Princeton. I'm not gonna say it's gonna be like that (her first stint), but a lot of the players I knew have graduated. I think it will be kind of rebuilding a little bit, getting to know the kids that are there and them getting to know me."
Phillips said she'll have to set the expectations for the program.
"There's gonna be a lot of buying into what we're doing," she said. [Read More]