Olin Buchanan over at rivals.com has a great article on Joker Phillips and his approach to the UK coaching challenge. Of course, we all know Joker is heavy on the recruiting aspects of college football and the article explores how Phillips believes that Kentucky can become a top ten program through recruiting. The interesting quote for me regards Joker’s perspective on coaches:
“When I hire coaches, the No. 1 thing I ask is, ‘Can he recruit?’ Second is, ‘How is he as a teacher?’ Third, I want enthusiasm and passion for Kentucky. I’ve got to sell the coaches first. They have to have passion for the plan we have in place.”
For hardcore Blue and White fans, you can hardly come up with a more perfect statement. Get the kids here, teach ’em up right, and infect them with Big Blue mania. Later in the article, Tee Martin summarizes the effect that his new boss has on recruits:
“You know, kids hear about big-name coaches, but sometimes the names get so big the kids don’t feel comfortable. Joker’s personality makes you feel comfortable and he’s a players-type coach. It’s not hard to sell Joker Phillips.”
Give the article a read. I promise it will get you fired up for football season as well as feel more comfortable with the way JP is handling the program (and it will keep your interest in pigskin despite observations from some haters). He is saying all the right things to get the fans pumped for the season and he is starting to get me to believe that we could win the SEC East. Soon. UK’s SEC media day is next Wednesday and from there it is just a few short weeks before it is football time in the Bluegrass.