Florida hires former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips as wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator
Joker Phillips, who spent more than two decades at Kentucky as a former player, grad assistant, assistant and finally head coach, has been hired as Florida's new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator, coach Will Muschamp announced today.
Phillips joins the staff after spending the past three seasons as Kentucky's head coach, but has more than 25 years of coaching experience. He is set to begin his new job on Friday.
Phillips will replace former WR coach Aubrey Hill, who abruptly resigned this past August just prior to the start of fall camp.
“We are excited to have Joker join our staff,” Muschamp said. “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. 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.”
Phillips, who was Kentucky's first black head coach, is the first coach in Kentucky history to take a team to a bowl game in his first season. He also won more games than any first-year UK coach since Blanton Collier in 1954. His teams also broke long-time streaks with wins over South Carolina and Tennessee.
He was fired late this past season after Kentucky struggled to a 1-9 season.
“I’m thrilled to become part of the Gator family,” Phillips said. “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.”