Florida hires former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — It didn't take Joker Phillips long to find another job.

The former Kentucky head coach landed at No. 4 Florida on Monday, joining the Gators as receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Florida coach Will Muschamp said Phillips will begin work Friday.

"His background as a head coach and the number of years he has coached wide receivers will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff and players," Muschamp said in a statement. "Joker is obviously very familiar with the Southeastern Conference and has always done a great job in recruiting. Obviously, I had a number of experiences with Joker both on and off the field, as our paths have crossed often, but I've been really impressed with Joker Phillips as a man during this hiring process."

Kentucky fired Phillips on Nov. 4. He went 13-24 in three seasons at Kentucky, including 0-8 in SEC play this year.

Phillips played at Kentucky (1981-84) and was on the football staff from 1988 to 1996. He returned to his alma mater as offensive coordinator in 2003, and then became the second black coach in SEC history in 2010.

His resume also includes stops at South Carolina (2002), Notre Dame (2001), Minnesota (1999-2000) and Cincinnati (1997-98). He coached receivers at each of those schools, working with Ron Johnson, Javin Hunter, David Givens, Keenan Burton, Steve Johnson, Dicky Lyons, Jr. and Derek Abney.

"I'm thrilled to become part of the Gator family," Phillips said in a statement. "I'm looking forward to the opportunity to compete and win at the highest level. I believe in coach Muschamp's philosophy, and what he has done in his short time here at Florida is phenomenal. I'm looking forward to contributing to the long-term vision that he has for this program. In addition, it will be very rewarding to be involved in the hands-on development of the players I will coach."

Former receivers coach Aubrey Hill left Florida in early August amid an NCAA investigation that involved his coaching tenure at Miami. Muschamp promoted graduate assistant Bush Hamdan to receivers coach, but said last week that he planned to hire someone to fill the position full time.

The Gators (11-1) surely need some help, too.

Tight end Jordan Reed leads Florida with 44 receptions for 552 yards. Receivers Quinton Dunbar (31-306, 4 TDs) and Frankie Hammond Jr. (20-273, 3 TDs) have been mostly inconsistent, while Andre Debose and Latroy Pittman have been non-factors.

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Comments » 3

Prostar writes:

As they always say, "if you can't beat'em, join'em".

Scoon writes:

Hired as Wide Receiver's coach AND Recruiting Coordinator...what a joke! He COULDN'T recruit at KY, so what would make them think that he could recruit at FU? Oh! I forgot. Florida sells itself. So, basically, you've got an X-WildCat (thank goodness) who don't know his head from a hole in the ground and hired on down there by the gators. He gets just to sit back, after taking our $$ with him...MY $$ as I've paid his salary...and then draw even more for being incompetent within his job responsibilities, but will end up looking phenomenal cause like I've said, the Gators sell themselves, but Joker will end up getting the credit. Go figure that one, vols. Pooop, they couldn't uv sent GatorBait 88 down there and put him into that position and he would have done just as prolific of a job as what Joker is gonna be doing and would end up looking just as good, too. No offense, 88, as you've got no football coaching experience what-so-ever and seeings how you're only 24 and living out on I'llkillya, somewhere.

And, as for that matter of fact...my LL's Kitty could do just as prolific of a coaching/coordinator job down there for the Florida gators, as what Joker could do!! Now, go stick all that in your pipe and smoke it, reptiles!!

volcop writes:

"Following the ’82 season at U of L, Brown returned to his roots in the state of Tennessee helping coach the Johnny Majors-run University of Tennessee Volunteers football team. During his first stint with the Vols from 1983 to 1989, Brown helped Tennessee acquire the nickname “Wide Receiver U.,” coaching numerous pass catchers to greatness. Receivers Anthony Miller, Tim McGee, Alvin Harper and Carl Pickens all benefited from Brown’s tutelage prior to their joining the professional ranks" From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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