Phelps comes to Southern Miss after serving in the same capacity at the University of South Carolina. While with the Gamecocks, Phelps was responsible for all of the business operations of the team as well as serving as an academic liaison. During that time, the program posted record academic achievements and a perfect APR score.
In 2010, Phelps served as the founder and director of the All-American Junior College Showcase in Las Vegas, Nev. The event was attended by over 200 NCAA Division I coaching staffs. While in Las Vegas, he also served as the vice president of marketing and expansion for National Youth Sports, an organization that helped with all facets of youth sports leagues across Nevada, California, Arizona, Georgia, New Mexico, Texas and Oregon.
Prior to moving to Vegas, Justin spent 4 years on the hardwood working under some of college basketball's best young coaches at Kent State such as Jim Christian (now Head Coach at Ohio), Geno Ford (now Head Coach at Bradley), Robert Murphy (now Head Coach at Eastern Michigan), Rob Senderoff (now Head Coach at Kent State) and John Piggati (now Head Coach at South Suburban College).
While at Kent State, the Golden Flashes garnered four post-season appearances, including a trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2006 and won at least 20 games in each campaign. During his tenure, the Flashes had an 89-40 record and won three Mid-American Conference Championships while working with Antonio Gates, who is now a Pro Bowl tight end for the San Diego Chargers. Kent State was also one of six schools in the nation to record 10 consecutive seasons of 20 or more victories, joining Duke, Kansas, Florida, Gonzaga and Creighton, with four of those teams coming with Phelps on staff.
He earned his degree from Kent State in 2006. Phelps is married to the former Lisa DiPietro of Steubenville, Ohio.