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Phillips Out As Coach At Kentucky After Season

Joker Phillips will not return as Kentucky’s football coach after the season.

The school announced that Phillips, who has compiled a 12-23 record since becoming Kentucky’s head coach in 2010, will coach the Wildcats against Samford and Tennessee to finish the season.

Phillips expressed an understanding of the school’s decision in a statement he released on Sunday.

“We, as coaches, are measured on results. We didn’t get the results we had worked and hoped for, therefore change is needed. In my current 10-year stay at Kentucky, we’ve had some memorable moments as an assistant, coordinator and head coach. We’ve had the opportunity to coach some fine young men and I am grateful to have had the privilege of watching them grow as players, as students and as people.”

I am very appreciative of Mitch Barnart and Rich Brooks for providing the opportunity to have been the head coach here. Mitch is the best athletic director I’ve ever been associated with. He’s fair and honest and he’s “all in” in terms of student-athletes’ well-being. Rich is the best mentor a young coach could ever have. I learned a lot from him in terms of plowing ahead. They are dear friends. Dr. Lee Todd and Dr. Eli Capilouto have both been very supportive. I appreciate the Big Blue Nation and encourage the fans to stay behind their team going forward.

“I love our players and am proud to be associated with them. I expect them to continue the behavior we have asked of them academically, socially and with football. I’m thankful for the staff’s hard work, dedication, and what they have done in coaching and mentoring the players. I’d like to thank my wife and family for all their support and for being behind me 100 percent.”

Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart, who said the search for Phillips’ replacement will begin immediately, thanked Phillips for his time with the Wildcats.

“After much conversation, evaluation and prayer, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our athletics program to make a change in our football coaching staff at the conclusion of the season. I do so with a heavy heart for a man who has served his alma mater for almost 22 years as a player and a coach. Joker Phillips has carried the banner for the Blue and White with honor and pride. I have enjoyed working alongside him and am thankful for his friendship for the last decade. His concern for the entire program, his work and teaching of young people, his humanitarian work, and the friendship we all enjoy with him will long surpass the scoreboard. I want to thank him for all of those things on behalf of Kentucky.”

 


3 comments
SevierVol
SevierVol

I too think Joker is a class act and has a lot of football knowledge. But not everyone has what it takes to be a good HC. Joker will land on his feet and will have a nice career as a top assistant. However, it will be difficult for him to ever get another HC gig.

I can see where a Fulmer or Cutcliff would be seriously considered for the job. Although both are getting a little long in the tooth, they would be a recognizable name and both have good track records as recruiters. Either would likely add some stability to the program, at least for the short term. I think Dykes has a huge upside but I am not sure he is ready for the SEC and he does not have the immediate name recognition as Cutcliff or Fulmer. Although Dykes has had success and is obviously a good coach, the SEC is a different animal. It's a career killer for coaches who get the chance but aren't yet seasoned enough. They won't last long and they will likely never get the chance again.

sec_fan
sec_fan

Why do this now? Does this mean they are going for Fulmer? Their other candidates have a job and will not be available until seasons end.

GregPomeroy
GregPomeroy like.author.displayName 1 Like

Sounds like Joker Phillips is a class act.  Hope he gets a good assistant job.



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