Joker Phillips talked to the media today for the first time since it was announced he won’t return in 2013 and he showed nothing but class, dignity, and appreciation for Big Blue Nation, as expected.
“I came here the first time as an 18-year-old kid,” he said of his time with the Kentucky football team. “This place turned me into a man the first time. This time it strengthened me.”
Joker said his plan for this season was to make it to 2013. That’s what he told his staff at the beginning of the year. 2013 is when he expected to see a huge improvement with the team, 2012 was his survival year. Unfortunately, his time as head coach at Kentucky was cut short, but he’ll continue to be a fan of the Wildcats. He said he will continue to buy season tickets and he’ll root for whoever takes over. “I’m still part of BBN,” he said. “We all have a hand in the success here.”
Phillips also thanked Mitch Barnhart for the opportunity and the support throughout his career. “I never asked for anything he said no to,” Joker said. “Not once.”
Say what you will about his coaching, but you have to respect the way Joker is handling his firing and all of the criticism he received over the past few months. We hope the fans show up on Nov. 17 to show their appreciation for what he’s done for Kentucky. It didn’t work out as head coach, but he bleeds blue just like us.