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Joker’s farewell on the shoulders of his seniors

(h/t Jon Hale)

Seniors Matt Smith and Larry Warford hoisted Joker Phillips on their shoulders as they carried him to the tunnel following Phillips’ final game coaching on Commonwealth Stadium. The moment will surely be memorable for a guy who dedicated a great deal of his life to the Kentucky football program. Farewell, Joker.

Phillips talked about the scene and the moment after the game. “I’m numb to all this. You realize it’s time to go. It’s time to go and I understand that. Very rarely do you get 10 years at a place.”

Article written by Ally Tucker

I once successfully requested "The Wobble" to be played 6 times at one wedding.

57 Comments for Joker’s farewell on the shoulders of his seniors



  1. AfghanCat
    10:56 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Glad Joker went out on top. Hate it had to happen to one of ours. Hope Mitch makes the right hire or all of this was for nothing.



  2. Odd
    10:56 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink



  3. Uncle Jesse
    10:58 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Classy move for those two kids…



  4. DUFUS
    11:02 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Pressure is now on Barnhart-no doubt!



  5. Todd
    11:02 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you Joker for the good times.



  6. bgblue
    11:03 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you Joker for all the years. Once a wildcat, always a wildcat. I wish you well whatever you decide to do after this season.



  7. BBN
    11:07 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Good riddance! He was a horrible offensive coordinator his last two years (UK ranked #93 & #103 nationally in total offense) and was a disaster as a head coach. He reversed the progress and momentum Rich Brooks made for the program in record time. TOTAL BLAME = Mitch Barnhart



  8. Capt
    11:07 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    So glad the game was blacked out here.



  9. Todd
    11:08 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Larry Glover is saying Phil Fulmer. Please Matt tell me this is not true.



  10. Joe
    11:10 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Carry him on down I-75, out of state. Clean out your office. Time for a real coach!



  11. Dave
    11:14 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    You guys no what the bad thing is? Joker will be be a great OC and Recruiting Cordinator somewhere and UK will look like the idiot as well as the fan base. However, no one will know the actual reason he was fired was because he never made a change to the great Randy Sanders and hired a moron in Minter. Really unfortunate as I write this that all of this could have been avoided by changing but Joker’s is cashing out and maybe that was the intent anyway. Not really quite sure you guys should be praising Joker. Your ticket prices will go up next year no matter who the hire is.



  12. bgblue
    11:20 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Well, I wish some of you stop what Joker and his staff could not do. He is fired and he is accepting it. There is no reason for keep bashing him at this point. He will be gone after next week. Show your class like Joker has been showing.



  13. Bbluehaze
    11:21 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    10 you are a prick..



  14. Aaron
    11:23 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I wish Joker would stay around in some form or fashion. He is a character guy. I wish him well, as should all true UK fans.



  15. bgblue
    11:24 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I missed the word “complaining” after the word “stop”



  16. Joe
    11:26 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    @13, maybe I am. But Joker is a loser. And #12 how can you say he is classy? He is already crying that he didn’t get enough time. He thinks the next coach should get seven to nine years. Get real. It is about results, and he couldn’t produce. He shouldn’t even be coaching the last game.



  17. BBN
    11:26 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Keep dreaming. It will NEVER happen. Joker is finished with big time college football in any meaningful capacity. We will take our chances with a competent coaching staff. The problem is most of us are not confident that Mitch Brainfart is capable of hiring a good coach. It’s a crap shoot IMHO…



  18. Bbluehaze
    11:26 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    11 I agree,my opinion, no coach is Turing this ship in three years, if that is the window we will be doing this very thing in three years… Sorry



  19. BBN
    11:27 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Keep dreaming #11.



  20. bgblue
    11:28 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    #16. Then who did you think should have coached this game and the next one?



  21. true story
    11:29 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    11. I like Joker and respect his love for the program but you must remember that Joker WAS an OC somewhere… HERE… where he managed, as #7 points out, 93rd and 103rd nationally. Joker being ‘great’ somewhere else is just laughable.



  22. BBN
    11:33 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    It was borderline criminal for Barnhart to promote Joker to Head Coach to start with. In what universe is such a person made a HC with such a poor performance the two years prior as offensive coordinator??? Unbelievable!!



  23. airhead
    11:34 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Ally like nice post or something



  24. Mark
    11:36 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Horrible iPad photo. WTF? Are you real media or not? I’m gonna go with you are a product of the internet. Shovel a bunch of crap on a page and go with it.



  25. James
    11:38 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    16. You don’t have any common sense. No one is arguing that he didn’t get it done. But here you sit dumping on his character and whining about whether or not he coaches these last two meaningless games. People like you make our fanbase look ignorant.



  26. UK Football
    11:40 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    I’m never going to be that good….regardless of who’s coaching me.



  27. Kyle
    11:41 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Hey #25, character doesn’t win games. If it did, Bill Curry would still be coaching. Joker needs to go, and Barnhart needs to follow.



  28. Tom Leach
    11:45 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Ya’ll suck. Typical 2 star classthletes from the bluegrass state. Keep the basement warm in the SEC. What’s the excuse the next 3 yrs? Global warming?



  29. Lol
    11:49 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is a man of character = Mary J O ??!

    Joker has good skills possible pc = 2-10 0-8 in sec

    How many fans there tonight!????

    I say don’t let the door hit u in the butt otw out



  30. BBN
    11:51 pm November 17, 2012 Permalink

    Think about how much money Barnhart has cost the university as a result if making Joker the Head Coach and from running his mouth and insulting the fan base. Quite a sum of money with lost attendance, some fans are gone for good as a result and as we saw tonight, many others are not planning to return any time soon. All of it is Barnhart’s fault.



  31. Dee
    12:00 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    We win and people are still bitching??? Jeebus….go jump on the UL bandwagon



  32. coach search
    12:01 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Who ever would have thought that Vandy would cost not one but two teams their coaches in the same season? WOW!!!



  33. Dee
    12:02 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    BBN….go back to work and finish making fries



  34. Dee
    12:03 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    At least now we know the answer of is beating just UT good enough to keep your job



  35. BleedBlue76
    12:03 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Wow…the lack of class shown by so many ‘fans’ on this site is staggering. Kentucky football is what it is. A lower tier SEC program that will occasionally find its way into the middle tier. Too many of you act like Rich Brooks had lifted this program up to a national power, but that simply isn’t true. Even our best year we could easily have lost several games that year and instead of 8-5 (is this really all that great?) been 4-8 or worse. We simply aren’t even, and I mean ever, going to be a top tier SEC school. We simply don’t have the recruiting base, the history, or the resources the powers in the SEC have to be a top contender. Stop blaming Joker. Yes, he wasn’t great, but he’s been fired and the search is on for the next guy you ‘fans’ can blame for Kentucky’s inability to contend in the SEC. If you want to compete in the SEC I suggest you cheer for Alabama, Florida, LSU or some other program with a great history. Otherwise, just STFU. Again, Kentucky is what it is. I love my cats, but I also understand that expecting 8 or more wins a year is unreasonable and I’ll take what I can get.

    Joker was fired, and should have been. Leave the man alone and let him move on. Our fan base as a whole is generally very classy. Many of, not all, the people who post on this site lack any class what so ever. Finally, if you disagree so much with what the fine folks at this site post there is an easy solution – STOP VISITING THE SITE.



  36. Dee
    12:04 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    35…..well said…amen



  37. BigBlue
    12:04 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker took a decent program down the toilet in 3 yrs. When Joker took over…THERE WAS NOTHING TO TURN AROUND…the program was pretty solid. He acts like he needed more time to “turn things around”. He did turn things around….from foward to reverse. He is a [email protected] and no he will be good elsewhere. He can’t coach and only got the job because he is friends with Barnhart.



  38. BleedBlue76
    12:05 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Post=comment in 35.



  39. Dee
    12:06 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker was a black Bill Curry



  40. BBN
    12:10 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    #33: Very cute. The only thing is I am 100% confident that I earn at least a million a year more than you and that is giving you a $100,000 a year salary. So, no preparing fries…

    Joker is a great person but was a horrible coach and should have never been promoted. Nothing will change that Joker apologists.



  41. BigBlue
    12:12 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Nothing wrong with saying good riddance to Joker. I’m sure he is enjoying his after firing farewell party. Shockingly enough a lot of fans do not accept that UK has to be a crappy program. As evidenced at the Vandy game fans are not going to continue to pay for an embarassing program. Mitch will actually need to hire a coach.



  42. Respect
    12:19 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker never put blame on anyone but himself, and he also tried to remind us of how young this team is, something he never did was say how injuried this team was. He wasn’t qualified to evaluate the program and we need a new a coach but he doesn’t deserve this disrespect from the fanbase. We got it our way, he’s gone so the disrepect is not neccessary anymore.



  43. mudcreekmark
    12:29 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    35) Rich Brooks did what no other coach had done in about 30 years, and that is stop the negative energy coming from our football program. Before Brooks came we all knew that we had no chance against top ranked teams. We also knew that some way some how we would end up losing a lead and losing the games at the end. Before Brooks we would always lose to non SEC teams on a regular basis.The last 3 or 4 years of Brooks I always thought we had a chance no matter who we were playing and we actually found ways to win games even when falling behind. We won almost a hundred percent of the games we should have won a a few we shouldn’t have. At UK that was a big deal. What we needed was Joker to push us over that hump to compete for a league championship, instead he has set us back to Bill Curry days. It will take 10 years to get us to where we should already be.



  44. BigBlue
    12:30 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    He is getting plenty of respect and money in light of his performance. It will take a good coach at least three years to clean up his mess.



  45. Kevin C.
    12:42 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    This is just pathetic. Yeah, carry the guy out on your shoulders AFTER HE’S BEEN FIRED. It’s so obvious the players wanted Joker gone as bad as most UK fans, considering how miserable they’ve been lately. Do they really expect us to believe they couldn’t even manage a single field goal against Vandy, while giving up 40…AT HOME… when they nearly beat UGA a few weeks earlier, and manhandled Samford tonight? They made a statement in the Vandy game : “We’re through playing for this clown…Joker”. Well, message received guys…now stop acting like you care, ’cause you can’t have it both ways. I’m glad to see the “Joke” era end, but I’m not too pleased with this group of underachievers, and I certainly won’t miss them either.



  46. jmfatz47
    2:15 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Please, people, try to comprehend/ digest the fact that joker made (not earned) nearly 2 million dollars THIS year for this $hitshow/circus act. He will be okay I promise. People act like we pi$$ed on him then threw him to the wolves! Try not to feel too sorry……but a monkey dancing on top of an elephant could have done just as well and we could have saved a $hitload of loot…..



  47. Wildcatsteeler
    2:39 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    So many “real” UK fans commenting here. Joker is a former player and alumni which most of you aren’t. So don’t try to understand what this means inside the organization. Sad that it had to end this way. But it did.



  48. Big Whoop
    5:54 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Went to do something else around the middle of the 3rd quarter because, frankly, this game was boring. Those who are excited about beating Samford, well, more power to you. I wasn’t and I’m not excited. After watching a little of the UT-Vandy game, it looks like we’re going to get our butts handed to us next week. Any idea of Joker going out as a winner is a joke. he best thing about this is we’ll get to live our lives without Randy Sanders. RISE!



  49. BigBlue
    6:48 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Yeah, looks like we excited about our fired coach beating Samford…lowered expectations even for us. Hope Joker enjoys his millions.



  50. BLUE BLY
    7:19 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Joker was a silly mistake that should have never happened….a little like BCG but in a different way. I don’t see Joker ever really being a top coach anywhere…..just didn’t ever see the potential…..



  51. BBB
    7:22 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Mitch Barnhart is what needs to be discussed. We need a mitch barnhart post. This is without doubt a signature hire for Mitch. Petrino should be our next coach. He is the BEST coach available for us and he is interested in the job. All these other names will put us just where we’ve been before….shooting for 6 wins. Petrino has the ability to take us above that level….maybe we could dream of 8-4 or 9-3….Oh, I’m sorry, I’m dreaming. All you guys who are happy with 6-6 or 7-5 need to ask your selves if you would be happy with 18-12, or 20-10 or 16-14 records in basketball. At some point we need to start a new football tradition and its call WINNING! KSR has let us down by being a mouthpiece for mitch barnhart when they had the chance to lead us to a new era by putting pressure on Mitch to hire a real coach. There is not one name on that list of his that I would pay 3.8 million a year. (Petrinos last salary). Mitch said we could afford to make a new coach one of the highest paid coaches in NCAA. If these names are shooting for the fences then the fence is too close.



  52. Jason
    9:10 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    A few of you crass whiners who take even this moment to complain about Joker are truly pathetic people and give a bad name to UK’s fans and the state of Kentucky.



  53. kevin
    9:33 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Kentucky were they carry you off on their shoulders after going 2 – 10.



  54. DoneWithFootball
    10:27 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    I see $100 dollar bills falling out of his pockets from his exit fee. HARD to feel sorry for a MULTI MILLIONAIRE who went 2-10….
    Yes, UK WILL lose to Tennesee.UT can beat WKU.



  55. RHINOS
    11:57 am November 18, 2012 Permalink

    I bet all of you saying that joker is a classy guy would still be saying that if the news of his affair became public. Mary jo perino is joker’s woman on the side.



  56. RHINOS
    12:01 pm November 18, 2012 Permalink

    Obviously meant would not still be saying



  57. Katdaddy
    12:30 pm November 18, 2012 Permalink

    #10 To get a real coach you gotta have a real program. This program will continue to suck no matter who we get.