Joker Phillips Out As UK Football Coach

11/04/2012 02:25 PM

In a letter posted on the school’s website this afternoon, UK athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced that head coach Joker Phillips would not return next season. The announcement comes on the heels of UK’s eighth-consecutive loss, a 40-0 blowout at the hands of Vanderbilt.

Phillips released the following statement today after the news was made public:

“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 Barnhart 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.”

Stay tuned to KSTV for all the latest news on UK’s search for a new head coach and the ending of the Joker Phillips era.

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