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Former UK QB Reese Phillips: “Stoops is the greatest thing to ever happen to Kentucky football”

USA Today Sports

Saturday’s loss to South Carolina has some UK fans calling for blood on social media or in the KSR comment section, but one former Wildcat strongly disagrees. Reese Phillips, who served as Kentucky’s backup quarterback during Mark Stoops’ first few years at Kentucky, took to Twitter to defend his former coach.

“Coach Stoops is the greatest thing to ever happen to Kentucky football,” Phillips tweeted. “If you even whisper about getting rid of him you’re clinically insane.”

Strong words from the former Wildcat.

Phillips came to UK in 2013 as a three-star recruit out of Tennessee, but he redshirted his freshman year after both coaches who originally recruited him (Joker Phillips and then-offensive coordinator Randy Sanders) were fired from the university. The following year, Phillips played sparingly but lost the starting job to Patrick Towels. In 2015, he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon before spring practice; his new offensive coordinator, Shannon Dawson, was fired later that year.

Eventually, Phillips made the decision to transfer to Montana, where he spent one year as the backup before earning the starting job. Unfortunately, a gruesome leg injury in his third start with his new team ended his season.

Clearly, Phillips’ journey with the sport, especially at the collegiate level, has been frustrating, at best. After all of that, he’s apparently still a huge fan of Mark Stoops. That should tell you something.

On the other hand, he’s not quite as favorable toward Kentucky’s offensive coordinator, Eddie Gran.

Article written by Maggie Davis

I love sports, podcasts, long walks on the beach and Twitter (@MaggieDavisKSR)

51 Comments for Former UK QB Reese Phillips: “Stoops is the greatest thing to ever happen to Kentucky football”

    9:58 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    The greatest thing would be for Mitch to Call URBAN. Got to make him say NO to you.

    • catsarerunnin
      10:03 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      He would say no.

    • mashman 93
      10:08 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      He would laugh at Mitch. Urban only coaches at elite programs and Kentucky football isn’t elite.

    • CatsNationBBN
      10:13 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      great idea tbh and kentucky football has to start somewhere

    • dcforuk
      10:48 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      Head full of knuckles statement.

    • dcforuk
      11:14 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      That darthvader mask is impacting your cognitive skills processing!

    • 4everUKblue
      9:04 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Yeah that’s just what we need a coach who recruits and enables murderers, rapist and criminals of all kinds. Hell no I’d rather discontinue football than to hire Urban Liar.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:09 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Winning games is not the most important thing in life, Urban has zero integrity and I would be ashamed to call myself a UK football fan is Mitch even talked to Urban Liar.

  2. ScoggDog
    10:01 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Sheray Thomas probably like Tubby Smith quite a bit as well.

  3. maximumscott
    10:21 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    God those uniforms were ugly

  4. mashburnfan1
    10:24 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Agree 100% on Stoops and Gran. Gran needs to be gone. Last year we were not calling for more passing, we just wanted the passes we did throw to actually go past the line of scrimmage to make the defense play the entire field. Throw it down the field, go for the big play, might get it, might get a flag but at least the D knows they have to defend the entire field. With Gran all you have to worry about is from 5 yards behind the line of scrimmage to about 3 yards in front of it and from side to side. It really hurt our running game last year and is the reason so many game were close. And we are not even having this conversation if the idiot calls a QB sneak on 4th and 1 vs UF or the staff {and this is on Stoops} let the kids actually play the 4th quarter vs UF. But anyone that can’t see we are in a much better position as a program vs when Stoops got here is either blind or stupid, most likely the latter.

    • makeitstop
      10:28 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      It’s a Gran problem not a Stoops problem

    • IndianaSucks
      10:48 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      Stoops is in charge of Gran… Just saying

    • StuckinLville
      12:51 pm September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Gran is throwing the ball? Gran is dropping passed? Missing assignments? Some things are on the players.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:06 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Once again mashbum all in on Stoops, making excuses while searching for reasons to hate and criticize Cal. He’s a phony and a wannabe.

  5. BigKYDan
    10:27 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Completely agree with Reese Philips. Recruiting is on another level under coach Stoops. Maybe its just me but I grew up watching this program loose on the field and in recruiting. Im grateful for Stoops and this hard working coaching staff. Even if we only go 6-6 this year. Lol haha, remember when that was a good year for UK football. Now under Stoops its considered a down year. Love coach Stoops, hope he stays for a long time.

    • ScoggDog
      10:34 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      And if it’s 4-8 this year ? Can we call that a down year ? Do we get to question what’s going on then ?

      Exactly how much tenure did 10-3 get the ginger ?

    • BigKYDan
      11:17 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      I said 6-6 would be a down year. So yes 4-8 would be as well. As a fan and member of the bbn, you can question anything you want or have any opinion you choose. My thing is, who was the last coach at UK to be the SEC coach of the year? Win 10 games? Have a unanimous national defensive player of the year, who btw was a 2 star recruit when he showed up on campus. Any one remember the last time we competed for the east? How about beat Florida?? Lets start with that one. A winning streak over South Carolina? Mizzou? The only coach in America to not take a step backward in 6 years? These thing DO NOT happen at Kentucky.

      So IF we go 4-8. Ill be disappionted. However I sure as hell wont bail on a coach who has done things at this program we have only fantized about. I saw what we recruited last year. Last years success is coming again. This time for more than 1 year.

      Fair weather fans man smh

    • Dark Soul
      9:22 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Agree 100 percent

    • dcforuk
      10:57 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      Yes, down year. Why down year? What happened when Rodney Dent got injured in 1994? Down year second round loss to Marquette. What happened when Dale Brown got hurt against Fab five and Mash fouled out? What happened to UK’s 26 game winning streak when Bogans injured his ankle in Sweet 16? Are injuries to the starting and backup QBs impactful?

    • BluKudzu
      11:17 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      Are injuries to starters and back ups impactful?


      What is also impactful is using an injured QB to guide an RPO offense that is neither mobile nor athletic, whose skill sets seem to be more in line with a pocket passer due to exhibited abilities.

      That is why Eddie Gran called so many passing plays.

      The entire line has done only RPO blocking. Now they have to change everything to facilitate a QB not prepared for the offense.

      That my friend is on the coaches.

      There is your major impact. Next man up is not prepared.

    • shelby3605
      8:08 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Blukudzo we may have been calling it an rpo, but i can count on one hand the number of times i’ve ever seen terry pull the ball from the running back and keep it himself or throw it. I saw lynn do it perfectly on saturday—once. I’m not saying i want lynn as full-time QB, just saying we don’t actually run an rpo per se.

    • dcforuk
      11:32 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      I have not heard the coaches deflect. Who do you want and want do you want? It sucks to lose. It sucks worse not to compete. If you want to express the suckiness of losing and how the season is going, I’m all for that right. Impression without expression leads to depression. Express away. Do you want more than that? What is it that you want? Some flesh and and an entire pound of it? Another coach? Seriously? An explanation why Terry got hurt? Why SS is banged up? Why WW got hurt and impacted his initial progression?

    • dcforuk
      11:44 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      BTW – it is pretty rare that a 3rd string QB is completely ready for game action. QBS 1 and 2 being injured are a perfect storm of sorts. GN Blu. I love debating you but it is time for some shut-eye. Let’s just agree that losing sucks and we want what’s best for the program. I think we just disagree about the long-term solutions. Keep your head up, though. This too shall pass!

    • BluKudzu
      2:15 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      I suppose I expect one of the highest compensated coaches in NCAA football to have 11 guys on the field, not 9.

      I would expect an offense that scores at least 20 points on two of the worst defenses (besides ours) in the SEC.

      I would expect a Defense that can hold 2 of the worst offenses in the SEC (besides ours) to less than 20 points.

      I could understand us being in this predicament in years 1 through 4…heck even through 5.

      But this is inexcusable. For anyone to accept this, for your team, is beyond logic.

      I do not care if they win the East, I hope they do someday. I would love it. But, we should not be suffering beat downs from the teams we had lost to, nor should we have given away the Florida game.

      I just do not want my team to be the laughing stock of college football, nor do I want them to be nationally ridiculed by the media as they were during Saturday evening’s broadcast.

      That is what I do not want for the young men that chose to come here and play. I do not want us to ever repeat the Joker days, or even come close.

      Can we do this?

      Mr. Bowden….I am behind you and the rest of the team. I just think you deserve better than you have received this year, and I hate to see this dumped on you all.

      Go Cats.

    • dcforuk
      12:01 pm September 30, 2019 Permalink

      It is certainly interesting frustrating and whatever else you wanna call it. I’m just glad the coaches don’t read all this stuff so that they can focus on the future because worry is futile by its nature

  6. makeitstop
    10:27 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    100% right

  7. BluKudzu
    10:29 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    So an ex player (qb) that left UK has an opinion about Stoops? Who cares?

    It makes it no more valid than your opinion.

  8. Hot Stuff Eddie Gilbert
    10:32 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Phillips was a trash QB

  9. yoshukai
    10:47 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Reece Phillips didn’t even play here under Eddie Gran . He actually has no idea about our offense.

    • JPhelps
      11:06 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

      He happens to be right though. Gran sucks

  10. dcforuk
    11:00 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    To whom should UK go? You (most of you anyway) are speaking outside of both sides of your mouth. You fear football mediocrity and actually think Urban Meyer would come here. Wake up folks!

  11. The Big Lebowski
    11:41 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    “Coach Stoops is the greatest thing to ever happen to Kentucky football,” Phillips tweeted. “If you even whisper about getting rid of him you’re clinically insane.”

    I AGREE.

    Even if the Cats go 2-10 this year that statement is still true.

  12. The Big Lebowski
    11:48 pm September 29, 2019 Permalink

    Kentucky would have to pay Urban Meyer 10 Million per year to get him to consider the job. That ain’t happening.

    • 4everUKblue
      9:07 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Then we would have to build another prison to hold all his recruits.

  13. cincinnaticat
    12:07 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    For all those saying “grans gotta go”. You do realize he’s working with a 3rd string qb? You can speculate that WW would be a better option but there is a reason the staff hasn’t turned to him…you do realize that even tho they went 10-3 last year they did it with a Qb that was ranked as one of the worst in the league, right? You do realize that UK has one playmaker at wr, right? Their #2 is good for a catch or two, maybe 3 at best, per game….gran has been hamstrung with a lack of talent at wideout from day one, so his ability to be creative is near nil…let the coaches handle things…as for stoops? If they fire him I will officially give up on the program after 53 yrs of hoping…mark my words…UK will win the east in the next 3 yrs, and if they can keep stoops long term they will do it on at least on a semi regular basis with Georgia winning it more often then not. They have NOT reached as high as they will go yet.

    • RAGE
      1:05 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      Wow really win the EAST on a regular basis??? Seriously lol I hope you are right but I will not hold my breath on that one.. Now you def bleed blue

  14. Great American
    2:47 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    1. Stoops has taken this program to places it has only sniffed at before he got here. 2. If Terry is healthy we are prolly 5-0. 3. Sawyer Smith is hot garbage. His (hurt) arm is no excuse for his decisions… 4. Eddie Gran is the problem! After Stoops complained about throwing the ball too often and not running enough, what did Gran do? Throw the ball in dumb scenarios and rarely use the run. Eddie Gran is not a good offensive coordinator

  15. CatsfaninFL
    7:01 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    Really wish KSR would go to facebook comments so we could see who is real and who is trolls. I can’t honestly believe there are this many obtuse UK fans who can’t see we are infinitely better with Stoops. I’m pushing 40 and these are the best years of our program in my lifetime. I’ll take a young/injury riddled year if we’re back clicking next year. Too many kneejerk clowns here.

    • Dark Soul
      9:46 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      You are exactly right. I remember Florida beating us 56 to 0 and 72 to 7. It blows my mind that there are actually idiots that think we need Stoops to go. Our offense is hard as hell to watch but if recruiting holds up for this year we will eventually get a good QB

  16. ArmyCatFan
    8:13 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    I completely agree with this statement. And anyone who says get rid of Gran…. you also don’t get the Stephen Johnson and 10 win seasons without him either. Just a bad string of luck early this season.

  17. Larkin123
    8:56 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    You can have those conversations after last year and bowl games previously. Lol

    If you look at next year’s roster, even with a few leaving early, this was always going to be a get through this year to get to next year team… At least the guys I watch the games with, we all said let’s just get 6 wins and get to next season before the season. Ksr does not do Stoops any favors with all this preseason hype.

    • CatsfaninFL
      10:00 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

      I agree and this may ultimately be the problem/downside of a fansite. They want to wear the blue tinted goggles as much as we do. I truly think this team could have won a lot of games this year… but it was because the schedule was weaker and no one expects you to drop so many pivotal pieces early in the year. Once DR and TW were out it was just so hard for me to see us having another special year, despite the schedule. We can still have a decent year and go to a bowl, but man just too many hits to take on a young/rebuilding team.

  18. JoshtheCATSfan
    10:18 am September 30, 2019 Permalink

    Idiots are always going to call for Stoops to be fired everytime we lose. I wanted Stoops gone 3 years ago but boy was I wrong. Gran on the other hand may very well go this offseason. I just have not seen enough out of him to want him to stay. i feel like we need a young coach hungry to mix things up. Gran is to predictable and Stoops needs a OC that will bring him out of his conservative shell.

  19. StuckinLville
    12:53 pm September 30, 2019 Permalink

    Anyone calling for Stoops job is a flat out idiot. Who else could have stepped in behind Joker’s mess and built up the program this way? Most of the players on this team would have never considered coming here if it wasn’t for him. You all must have thought losing Terry wouldn’t matter but it hurts big time. This is no one’s fault.

  20. CopenhagenCat
    3:07 pm September 30, 2019 Permalink

    I wonder sometimes have we really improved? Or has Florida, Tennessee and Carolina just got worse? I’m sorry but miss tackles and poor play calling is awful. Some of the play calling makes absolutely no sense at all. Other back up QBs aren’t having no problem moving the ball. But UK calls some awful plays . Doesn’t matter who we recruit if you can’t get them the ball why would they wanna come here?

    • dcforuk
      6:20 pm September 30, 2019 Permalink

      There’s no confidence that we are going to win right now. The Players were still confident after Terry went down. As Sawyer started getting banged up and maybe making a few mistakes and as things weren’t going our way, the confidence started to erode. When that happens, energy and effort can be impacted some (though Moreso from A belief perspective). Not believing is very impactful. It all feeds as positive or negative and now coaches will be tweaking to change the momentum.

  21. notFromhere
    1:49 am October 1, 2019 Permalink

    Bunch a fkn clowns on this site.

    “Gran doesnt want to throw it past 5 yards..”

    You may have still been bottle-fed when we played Southern Miss with Barker at QB. Probably first half highlights on youtube (or nickelodeon for you). Look for those after your snacktime and my little pony videos.

    Listen to ArmyCatFan, Larkin, and maybe Stuckintheville. I know negativity here is like algae on a north facing wall, but have some bourbon and cheer the fk up. Life’s too damn short to be so dramatic

  22. notFromhere
    1:55 am October 1, 2019 Permalink

    Ive seen enough of Gran to want him to stay. 3 seasons of improvement on offense until we lost Terry Wilson.

    This season is more about losing Terry, Bunchy, Snell, our entire secondary plus DRobinson, and Allen than it is about anything else. 7 games left. We can win out if things break our way.

    If we only win 4-5 more, we can keep some momentum going from last season (if the legion of doom doesnt kill it with horsesht talk of ditching any coaches). Terry and others came here BECAUSE of these coaches. The current commits are COMMITTED because of these coaches.