Skip to content

Kentucky Sports Radio

University of Kentucky Basketball, Football, and Recruiting news brought to you in the most ridiculous manner possible.

Statement From Joker Phillips

(h/t Yahoo!)

(h/t Yahoo!)

Joker is not available to the media, but released this statement moments ago.

 We, as coaches, are measured on results.  We didn’t get the results we had worked and hoped for, therefore change is needed.  In my current 10-year stay at Kentucky, we’ve had some memorable moments as an assistant, coordinator and head coach.  We’ve had the opportunity to coach some fine young men and I am grateful to have had the privilege of watching them grow as players, as students and as people.

I am very appreciative of Mitch Barnhart and Rich Brooks for providing the opportunity to have been the head coach here.  Mitch is the best athletic director I’ve ever been associated with.  He’s fair and honest and he’s “all in” in terms of student-athletes’ well-being.  Rich is the best mentor a young coach could ever have.  I learned a lot from him in terms of plowing ahead.  They are dear friends.   Dr. Lee Todd and Dr. Eli Capilouto have both been very supportive.  I appreciate the Big Blue Nation and encourage the fans to stay behind their team going forward.

I love our players and am proud to be associated with them.  I expect them to continue the behavior we have asked of them academically, socially and with football.  I’m thankful for the staff’s hard work, dedication, and what they have done in coaching and mentoring the players.  I’d like to thank my wife and family for all their support and for being behind me 100 percent.

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

90 Comments for Statement From Joker Phillips



  1. powski
    3:51 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Stand-up guy.



  2. Huber
    3:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    First



  3. Kelsey
    3:53 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    All the more reason you can’t help but be sad this didn’t turn out differently.



  4. Hoopster
    3:54 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Said with class, good luck to you Joker.



  5. Catfaninohio
    3:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker, as always, is classy. Lets hope UK fans don’t rejoice in dancing on his grave. Remember, he is one of us! Go Cats!



  6. old_school
    3:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks for your 20 plus year as a Wildcat Joker. You always conducted yourself with class and dignity – even in the bad times. That’s a real test of character. Best of luck to you and God Bless!



  7. Steve
    3:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Class act.



  8. mores
    3:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    3) yep.

    Great guy, couldn’t meet expectations. I hope and think he’ll find a good landing spot.



  9. Riley
    3:56 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hate to see such a good Kentucky guy go, but we needed a new start.



  10. Weightloss Jason
    3:56 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is a class act guy! Period but beginning your head coaching career in the SEC is a very tough spot to be put in. I wish him luck in the future and hopefully we can take these young men and get a coach to push them to the next few levels of their football lives.



  11. stevefitts
    3:56 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Good luck, Joker! The thoughts and prayers of BBN will be with you as you turn the next page of your life! God bless you always!



  12. SamIAm
    3:56 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Such a classy guy. I hate that he has to go, but I know it best for the team. I really wish the results were different. Good luck on your next venture Joker!



  13. classof68
    3:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    He said the right things. Good for him.



  14. J-Dub
    3:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Classy ~ I wished it could have worked out!



  15. Badams
    3:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wish nothing but the best him. There’s no doubt he is good with these young men, he just needs to find the right coaching staff. Good luck Joker!



  16. ukfan
    3:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wish it could have worked out. Class Guy!!!



  17. Roman
    3:58 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Classy statement. Thanks to Joker for the years of service. Bring on Sonny Dykes.



  18. Gbb
    3:58 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Amazing person….. I have the up most respect for him! I wish him all the best in the Future, but its time to move on!



  19. support
    3:58 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker will handle this in a classy manner. BBN should treat the team well in the next 3 weeks by attending the last home game and being supportive. Let’s make this one of the rare “good break-ups”



  20. JP
    3:59 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I will not coach the last two games. Sanders will be the coach.



  21. afidler
    4:00 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Best of luck, Joker.



  22. Lisa
    4:00 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Class act, and that is what makes this so difficult.



  23. Sydney42
    4:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wow…..total class act!!



  24. mapcatfan
    4:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Class guy. It needed to be done, but I feel so badly for him. Would have been great if it could have worked out for him and our program. Joker bleeds blue just like the rest of us.



  25. Mummie
    4:04 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Hahahaha you suck joker



  26. wildcat502
    4:04 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Now that this has occured. Please fill the stadium in a couple of weeks and send our seniors out with pride. Please be respectful towards Joker and let him know that we appreciate him for his time here. Joker has shown his class, now lets show him ours.
    PLEASE



  27. Brett
    4:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I know this had to be done but I love joker as a coach! He had tough season, young and banged up! As a season ticket holder I will stand by #BBN no matter what! #BBN4L #PackCommonwealth



  28. 9-asty
    4:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Why no press conference?



  29. classof68
    4:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    He said the right things, but I can’t feel sorry for someone who has earned millions of dollars and produced limited results. He never was a great recruiter like many claimed. Otherwise the results would have been much different.



  30. Huntin chickens
    4:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker,
    It is obvious ur a stand up guy and a class act. It’s too bad that u couldn’t stick around. You will learn from this and move on. Good luck and I hope someday u get the success u have worked for and deserve.



  31. Mike Leach
    4:06 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Available.



  32. Slapjawed
    4:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    What a loser!!



  33. G-Unit
    4:08 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    31) Hell no



  34. WIKIrev
    4:08 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker has always been a stand-up guy and although he definitely had to go, he was the epitome of what it means to Bleed Blue.

    However…he HAD to be joking about Capilouto haha. That man killed the fan support at Commonwealth just as much as the results of the team did. Can we just get rid of him too and really have an exciting season next year?



  35. Bradley
    4:09 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t blame Joker at all for this mess. Can he coach? No. It’s the clown who hired him for a job he had no business getting that I blame.



  36. BigBlueCat
    4:09 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Sad to see Joker go. Sorry it didn’t work out. Wish it had been different. Thanks for trying. Good luck in the future. #WeAreUK



  37. Tailgate Ban
    4:10 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #DoNotPackCommonwealth



  38. catfan013
    4:11 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Thanks coach good luck and God Bless!!!



  39. Nerlens Helmet
    4:13 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I wish for Jokers sake it had been done last week.



  40. HalMummeFanClub
    4:17 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I don’t feel sorry for POOR Joker…..he’ll be getting a buyout of $2.55 million….$3,493 each and every day for two years…..WOW….Just WOW……He has hit the Joker Jackpot….LOL



  41. CPACAT
    4:19 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I am so disappointed that this hire did not work out. I listened to/watched Joker make plays as a player, followed his progression as an assistant at UK, ND, USC and back at UK as an assistant under Coach Brooks. I was thrilled with the coach-in-waiting hire and thought it was a good decision for UK. Joker is now, as he always has, displaying extreme class in his handling of this situation…I wish I could say the same for my fellow members of the BBN.



  42. Mummie
    4:19 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Don’t coaches har a morality clause
    I mean didn’t he bump boots with that hag sports caster while marries, allegedly



  43. blitzedanddazed
    4:22 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Blah, Blah, Blah. Clean out your office and be gone by Monday morning.



  44. BigBlueForLife
    4:23 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Classy.



  45. Sydney49
    4:24 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker Phillips contract not renewed Sunday, November 4th….Mission Accomplished…..Joker Obami contract not renewed on Tuesday, November 6th…..Need I say more?



  46. Ron Burgandy
    4:24 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Way to stay Classy…



  47. Cats in the NBA
    4:25 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Classy guy. Interested to see how his next gig goes.



  48. Me
    4:26 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I am always on KSR and reading comment sections for fun. 90% of you were on here yesterday ripping both AD and Joker about sucking and now that he’s gone you have changed your tone. Man/Woman up and say we all wanted him gone. Our team sucked and it was needed! Don’t hide behind “he’s a good guy or great ambassador…”



  49. Jeff
    4:27 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Does this mean that Mary Jo will be leaving WLEX as well?



  50. slim
    4:28 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Class act. Wish it could have worked out. Realy liked Joker. Wish him nothing but the best!



  51. Blah
    4:29 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    50- I hope or u need to get a widescreen tv



  52. joker fan
    4:30 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Gotta say if I ever wanted any coach to work out it was joker, we may not have the fortune of finding another coach who cares about UK football more than his own personal agenda, weather u like it or not we are typically viewed as a stepping stone not a destination, Joker was one of the rare few that I feel we could have kept around had he seen successful



  53. Turd ferguson
    4:30 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    If he resigns, does he not get the buyout? Why a firing?



  54. capt
    4:31 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    now we fire sanders, re hire joker as OC, and get a new head coach. throw mitch out on his pompous a$$ while we’re at it.



  55. the Big Dog
    4:32 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Joker is a Kentucky guy and all of us wished that he would succeed as head coach. Best of luck to him and Mitch- get the next one right. Football funds every other sport except for men’s basketball and we need for fans to be in the stands. ESPN kept showing the empty seats at the Vandy game- I’ve seen more people at a high school game.



  56. Dman
    4:33 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’ve been irritated at his “questionable” decisions these past few years. It was obvious that something had to change or give. I wanted it to work for him but it just didn’t. He is a classy guy and and I appreciate how he’s represented our university. Best of luck Joker.
    Now, let’s get this train back on the track. GO CATS.



  57. Booger
    4:34 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Can’t have a press conference because that cost money! This is football- not basketball. Cal might need that money for something.



  58. ChiddarCheddar
    4:34 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll always be grateful to Joker for beating Spurrier’s sorry butt, and beating the ugly orange. He also had Cam Newton beat IF we could’ve picked up that fumble instead of sliding out of bounds with it. Boy those memories seem ancient after this season.



  59. BigBlue
    4:35 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    A class act, and he loves this program. I wish it had worked out, because he would have stayed forever.



  60. BigBlue
    4:35 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Yes, Joker appears to be a ‘good’ guy. We paid him millions to CONTINUE the success Rich Brooks achieved. He inherited a program on the rise and took it into a nose dive…culminated by a 40-0 loss to Vandy in front of 20K fans. He does not need sympathy..he has been well paid and was for the most part well supported given his poor performance. He should thank UK for giving him the chance. Everyone stop getting all misty eyed…



  61. jim tressel
    4:38 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    i can bring some talents from ohio to down there.



  62. Shame
    4:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Personally, I have to place most of the blame on the administration for allowing this hire to even be considered. Joker had no previous head coaching experience and was given the task of carrying on the momentum built up by Brooks. I’m not saying Joker shouldn’t carry any blame either because grown men make their own choices. He knew what the situation was and the history of the program. He knew that success was desired and any lack of it would certainly be his demise. Mitch should feel ashamed about putting a good person in a position he had no place being in. As well, he should feel ashamed for calling out fans who simply want success on the darn football field. I’m not talking about BCS bowls or anything like that. I’m talking about at least 6-8 wins and a bowl appearance. Mitch, you should be the one hurting the most today. This is your show, remember?



  63. Wtf
    4:40 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Wtf am I going to b I tch about now



  64. rick
    4:41 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Lets get a jump on things and fire the new coach now!



  65. bye joker
    4:45 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    good luck to joker- but i hope he takes minter and sanders with him



  66. J A Brooks
    4:48 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I supported Joker being hired although I was nervous about it.

    I supported Joker after he went 6-7 his first year because I wanted to believe in him even though I was even more nervous.

    I supported Joker after his second year when he went 5-7 even though I was convinced he wasn’t the man for the job but because he beat Tennessee he deserved one last shot.

    I supported Joker and these kids before the season started and really had high hopes.

    How much support am I obligated to give? The man has made millions coaching this team and will make millions more for getting fired. There’s homeless people starving to death, babies without food or beds to sleep in, and kids in other countries dying of diseases ever day. Yet some people want to get misty that a man got fired for doing a terrible job and making more money than 95% of the world in the process.

    Sorry but I’ll find a way to hold back the tears. He’s a good man but he’s a terrible coach and he was being paid millions to be a coach not everybody’s best friend.



  67. Beavis
    4:57 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    # 66 Well said. I don’t feel the least bit sorry for Joker.



  68. J A Brooks
    5:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I mean it sucks for him. I’m sure its a tough day and I know he really wanted to succeed here… but come on. He did an absolutely dreadful job so we really shouldn’t feel that bad for him. Its not like his life is ruined. I’d rather be in Jokers shoes and be jobless with about 4 million in the bank then be in my shoes which is living paycheck to paycheck in my small georgetown home.

    if Joker wants to switch spots with me I’ll do it in a heartbeat. How many of you wouldn’t do the same thing. The guy is going to be just fine and he’s going to get paid for all of this season and all of next season.



  69. 84Cat
    5:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Thank you Joker! You are a class act!



  70. JoeMoney333
    5:04 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Well. We have some good fans and some fans that I really wish weren’t UK fans. Oh well.



  71. Allan
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    66, you care way too much. Its football, not basketball.



  72. Yngvie Malmsteen.
    5:05 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Best wishes going forward Joker. Sorry it didn’t work out for a classy guy. Now go get us a young guy that will bring excitement to the program.



  73. Damn man
    5:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    A change was needed but also sad to see him go. Great guy, not a great coach. Best of luck to Joker and I hope he’ll still come around



  74. Allan
    5:09 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Bye Joker. Thanks for ruining everything Rich did for us.



  75. Rixter
    5:13 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    When I read ALL of the many comments on the many forums toward Joker, it is completely obvious how BBN feels about Joker Phillips. It was NEVER about how we felt toward Joker. It was always about the record.

    So, Mitch… what was that about a ‘personal agenda’?

    Louisville fan, I don’t remember you being so gracious toward Kragthorpe when he left, so we don’t want to hear from you at all.



  76. Katdaddy
    5:14 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    The two coaches we are looking at cant win outside the sec, dont know how in the hell they’re going to win in the sec.



  77. Rixter
    5:26 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    What two coaches are ‘we’ looking at?
    I think you mean the two coaches that Matt Jones would like to see. We have NO IDEA who Mitch has targeted.



  78. KCK
    5:27 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Not a Joker fan in the slightest, but classy statement.



  79. Linda Taylor
    5:29 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    41 CPACAT – Of all the posts on this thread yours said best how I am feeling, thanks.



  80. Realistic Thinker
    5:52 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Breaks my heart this didn’t turn out better than it did. Kentucky football will never have another coach that bleeds blue like Joker. My hopes now are that Willie Taggart finds a job elsewhere and Joker lands at WKU. Kentucky football does need a makeover, but I don’t want to lose Joker altogether. Good luck brother!



  81. Realistic Thinker
    5:55 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    #77, I hope Mitch reads Matt’s articles and decides to go the completely opposite direction. The last thing we need is another Tennessee guy like Duke’s coach or a one-hit wonder like Sonny Dykes. I vote for a proven head coach at a non-BCS school or a top offensive coordinator at a powerhouse.



  82. goUKats
    6:01 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    John Ray,Bill Curry,and Joker Phillips had a lot in common.They were outstanding human beings,always saying the right things,always optomistic anout their program,but sadly lacking in the coaching and running a winning program at UK department.
    So here’s to Joker,i wish him well,and i hope he enjoys the wealth that the University of Kentucky has provided him for many years to come.



  83. ChiddarCheddar
    6:07 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    81) Gus Malzahn gives you both.



  84. Happy And Sad
    6:31 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I feel a lot better, now that it’s done. But I do feel sad for Joker. I wanted so bad for him
    to succeed. I wish him well, always. God bless him. And phew, I’m glad we can now
    move on and hopefully enjoy football season again someday soon. What an awful
    season this has been. Truly painful in every way. Basketball doesn’t make up for it.
    Basketball is basketball. It’s a whole other kind of love. I really hope next football
    season has some joy in it. I love football. I love SEC football. I hope someday
    other SEC teams will be nervous when they play us. THAT would ROCK!!!



  85. Linda Taylor
    7:39 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Here is a tweet by Jared Lorenzen:

    jared lorenzen
    ‏@JaredLorenzen22
    Joker won’t get the credit he deserves but he did a lot of good for UK. Proud to be coached by him and wish him all the best.



  86. bullfeathers
    7:54 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Expectations were raised by AD when KFUND fees were assessed to even endzone seats . Sixty bucks per ticket is almost pro money . We are not Bama . Targets should be Franklin at Vandy and Mullen at MSU . If we do not get them at least we make the competition pony up .



  87. Joker
    8:18 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I would like to thank MJP for the “honk honk” I will never forget it.



  88. bsquared
    8:19 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    Alan Cutlers day……Joker was fired (Cutler hurries to the closet to put running shoes on)…hour later Joker releases statement but no press conference….(Cutler hangs his head and puts running shoes back in the closet)



  89. The Joke was on Us
    8:21 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    I’ll say this for Joker. No coach at any school has ever had a fan base that wanted their coach to win as bad as the BBN did Joker. It didn’t work for what ever reason, but it wasn’t because the BBN didn’t want it too. That is what pissed me off about Barnhart’s comments yesturday. 95% of the fan base was behind Joker to start off untill the L started to mount up.



  90. MacGruber
    8:24 pm November 4, 2012 Permalink

    87) 🙂