As was reported earlier today, Joker Phillips was officially announced as UK’s next Head Football Coach as a press conference at 4 today. Along with that, Rich Brooks had his contract extended through 2011 with a raise up to 1.6 million dollars per year. Here are some quotes from the press conference.
“When Rich is ready to go fishing, I am looking foward to running this program.”
“This is all about continuity, it has nothing to do with me being African-American. It’s all about production on the field.”
“I don’t want any insecurity from parents and players on what might happen when I step down…This will hopefully clear up any continuity issues.”
“I think this move is historic for the University of Kentucky, and for the SEC.”
“He’s (Phillips) is a tireless worker. He is selling the Univeristy of Kentucky everyday, a great recruiter, and he knows how to coach.”
(When asked what would happen if another school approached Phillips)
“It might make me go fishing a little earlier.”
Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart
“It’s his leadership, and day-to-day intercation with the guys. Clearly he (Brooks) had a belief that the time was right to continue the success at UK.”
“This will certainly cut down on the costs of a coaching search.”
Brooks was also asked if he still wanted to be the longest tenured coach in UK history, which would require Brooks to stay at the school 4 more years through 2011. His response was:
“It’s still a goal of mine. But, I’m 66 now and your never know what might happen.”
All in all, a very upbeat and joyous press conference. Alot of laughs and it appears to be a very exciting time within the program. The most interesting thing that I got from the presser was the fact that Barnhart said other schools could still approach Phillips, meaning this announcement has no contractual backing. But, with Phillips UK background and history, I find it hard to believe he leaves before becoming the next head coach at Kentucky.