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Is Reese Phillips Salty at Coach Stoops?

Andrew Bruckse | UT Athletics

Andrew Bruckse | UT Athletics

Andrew Bruckse | UT Athletics

In an interview with the Times Free Press, transferring former UK QB Reese Phillips was apparently at odds with Coach Stoops. In the interview, Phillips states that when he made the request to transfer, Coach Stoops “all but hung up on him.”

Phillips went on again, stating that it was his understanding that he would retain a medical redshirt after rupturing his Achilles’ tendon. “He said (in the second conversation) he didn’t remember talking to me about any medical redshirt,” Phillips said in the interview.

Reese Phillips had high praise for departing Offensive Coordinator Coach Shannon Dawson:

“If Coach Dawson was still at Kentucky, I’d still be there, too,” Phillips said. “I had thought about transferring last spring and then got hurt, but I have nothing but good things to say about Coach Dawson. He’s the best and he’s the reason that I have decided I want to become a coach when my playing days are over. He’s a friend and the type coach I want to be.”

The last straw, according to Reese, was after Dawson was fired and Stoops announced that sophomore Drew Barker would be the Kentucky starting QB in 2016. It was also, Phillips said, why Patrick Towles decided to transfer out of the program as well.

“That wasn’t really fair to Pat or to me. Drew is a friend, but speaking honestly he didn’t do anything special those last two games and Stoops still gave him the job. That wasn’t fair,” Phillips said. “I’m not the type to make excuses, but I never got beat out. If I get beat out wherever I go from here, I’m man enough to admit that I got beat out.”

It appears that Reese’s departure was not as amicable as Patrick’s. It will be interesting to see what direction Coach Stoops goes in hiring a new Offensive Coordinator, and the results of the 2016 national signing day class.

To read the article, head over here. 


Article written by Miss J.C. Ausmus

No, my name doesn't stand for anything. Follow me on twitter? @JC_KSR

37 Comments for Is Reese Phillips Salty at Coach Stoops?

  1. Kelkat
    8:43 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Really sad see these comments from Reese. Not sure what anyone gains to come out and make these sort of comments. Obviously Reese and Coach Stoops were at odds and needed to part ways. This kind of stuff should have stayed private. Ultimately, it hurts Stoops and I really can’t see how it makes Reese look any better.

    Good luck in the future Reese…

  2. 2thepoint
    8:55 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Well, Reese you did get beat out! When you had your chance you didn’t do well. You had your chance all this year to “beat out” Pat or Drew, but you didn’t. Truth is you made the right decision to transfer one year late and now you have let a terrible offensive coordinator cast a long shadow on your future.

  3. blueballs80
    9:30 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Pat hit his ceiling so there is not much debate about that. If Dawson was great working with QB’s then Patrick Towles didn’t show it in his body of work. In fact Towles regressed. Reese, didn’t beat Pat out the first time and got hit by the injury bug preventing him from getting practice reps so off course Stoops had to make Drew the starter, he is younger and has more upside. I am glad Dawson is a great friend but offensive coordinator is something he needs to work on more.

  4. DelrayCat
    9:45 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Another situation in which my fears are validated.
    Mark Stoops is just not a “likeable” coach.
    He’s not good with the media.
    He is not really the guy landing the recruits.
    He also doesn’t wow you with his intelligence or football knowledge.
    As a new head coach, he has made plenty of blunders, and may yet still become a good head coach. I just do not see it happening at Kentucky.
    Mark Stoops is at Kentucky only because his last name got him a gig at Florida State that, given the same talent, I bet any decent defensive coordinator could have matched.
    With the Cats schedule next year, Stoops Troops gonna have to several big upsets to keep his job. More likely…Cats go 4-8 and Mark returns to Oklahoma to coach for national titles at his brother’s side.

    • evilcarl
      10:06 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

      Leave. Go. You are not a patriot. Look around at other programs. QB’s don’t play they leave. Only the great or good teams have QB’s leave when they don’t start. Not Louisville.

    • bigblueforever
      10:24 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

      People don’t like to read this, but I bet DelrayCat is a UK fan and it’s hard to disagree with his points. Truth hurts, I know….

    • syrin23
      10:51 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

      I’m with Delray. The leaving QB’s all tell us Dawson was the guy and that Stoops is the problem. Lots of hype, low on results.

    • UK Big Board Update
      11:10 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

      Exactly. I mean, if those plays would have worked, they would have been great.

    • WeareBBN
      12:23 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Well Tex A&M just had 2 highly rated qb’s leave yet Sumlin was the god of coaches a couple years ago and courted by the NFL. It happens all over the place, Notre Dame, FSU, Alabama etc. These idiots act like UK is the only school to have qb’s transfer and/or players de-commit.

    • Bertway
      9:46 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      My biggest disagreement with Delray’s post is with the FSU comment. There are and have been numerous coordinators in both college and the NFL with amazing talent to work with, that have either vastly underperformed or completely wasted that talent. If you’re being objective, you should at least concede that he did well, although not spectacular, as a D coordinator in his limited time at FSU.

  5. DelrayCat
    9:48 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    3 Offensive Coordinators in three years…really?

    This is not the way to build a program.

  6. ky1988
    9:55 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    it sounds like he wanted the job handed to him but when it wasn’t he got made and left. sounds like cats is better off with him gone.

  7. evilcarl
    10:02 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Best QB left the program because he was afraid and rednecks and K-men alike who never saw a down from Drew Barker chased him out. I agree, nothing from Drew Barker makes me think he can play except the idiots that know he can play.. Love Coach Stoops and have faith in his judgment. And this walk-on doesn’t change my opinion. Delraycat is an idiot on here. Probably fake account.

    • cats42301
      3:17 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      If you are going to make derogatory allegations like that then give some proof and some names of these people who “chased Pat Towles out of town” Otherwise just shut up with unfounded statements that are meant to do nothing but anger and enrage. Your comments are classless and juvenile and if you had any real sense you would be embarrassed and apologetic for even posting them.

  8. JunkTwoMuch
    10:27 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    There is no logical reason to not give this kid a redshirt. He has no choice but to make this public to pressure for a redshirt.

    Reese surely should’ve left out the hangout and Dawson parts. But I understand a young kid lashing out when denied a redshirt when he was clearly injured.

    Denying the redshirt is a spiteful move by Stoops and not a good luck. And not a good thing to speed defend when recruiting new players. UK should do the right thing for the kid and the program — grant the redshirt.

  9. 3 fan
    10:44 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops needs to give the redshirt. He is a grown up dealing with the future of kids.

    I really hope the rumors coming out of Lexington are just that. We don’t need another disaster of a head coach

    • Patrick_Wren
      11:01 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

      Stoops is not responsible for “giving” Reese a red-shirt….his new school or the NCAA will handle the red-shirting situation.

    • Rsn2GoBlu
      8:47 am December 29, 2015 Permalink

      Patrick_Wren you are wrong. UK will have to be the school to apply for the Medical redshirt. Sounds like Stoops is not going to do that – which is a shame.

      Phillips is exactly right on Baker. What did Baker actually do in those 2 games where he earned the starting QB position. It was stupid to name Baker the starter for next year. Let all QB’s know that the position is open going into spring ball and you have to earn it during that time period. Again stupid call by Stoopid.

  10. nybrasky
    10:45 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink


  11. UKinIN
    11:19 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Is it possible that not granting the redshirt was a kinder way for Stoops to tell Phillips that his future wasn’t at UK? It allows Phillips to sit out a year at another D1 school. Also with the chatter from the departing quarterbacks I’m wondering if that’s just the nature of the head coach/quarterback when the head coaches reputation is defense?

  12. RealCat41
    11:35 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Phillips I think said these things based on what he didn’t see this past summer, which was absolutely NO QB competition between Towles and Barker. Yet Stoops talked about it like it was actually happening. A complete fraud. By naming Barker the starter so soon I think Phillips took exception to it based on what kind of player he thinks Barker actually is.

    • UK Big Board Update
      12:00 am December 28, 2015 Permalink


  13. blueballs80
    11:44 pm December 27, 2015 Permalink

    Stoops is not the best coach that I will admit. The deer in the headlights look just can’t escape him. Was Reese the answer..probably not..Dawson’s offense can’t survive in the SEC. It was clearly proven when ULL , Eastern figured out how to play our offense in the 2nd half.

  14. Long Dong Silver
    12:08 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    This whole situation is a flaming pile of dung.

  15. cats42301
    3:04 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Regardless of whether you back Phillip’s comments or think Dawson shouldn’t have been fired there is one thing that I believe is evident that can not be questioned, Mark Stoops can not stand to be questioned or criticized and he has more than a bit of an anger management problem. I base this on his 2 interviews on KSR when he became testy and angry when Matt questioned the organization of him and his staff during games and the allegation above where Reese Phillips said that Stoops pretty much hung up on him. I also point to his sometime uncontrolled anger during games when he has questioned calls. The first time I remember it was year one at Miss St. after the offsides call when we tried the onside kick. Everyone liked it then because it was a bad call and everybody liked his fire. However since then we have witnessed several times where he just didnt question a call, he was so angered and out of control that he had to be physically restrained by an assistant after he had almost walked to midfield while yelling at a referee. Good or bad I think when Dawson came in he gave a sympathetic ear to a lot of players that did not care for Stoops apparent brash coaching style and that is why Phillips and Towles say what a good coach he was, because he was a nice guy who cared about their problems while Stoops is all business more or less. Dawson’s sympathetic style could be viewed by some as undermining Stoops’ authority and that could be as much of a reason for his firing by Stools as his playcalling due to Stoops anger issues and not liking to be criticized and questioned. When he says that, he can take the criticism and that he is a big boy i think nothing is further from the truth and unless the wins come next year i see Stoops getting worse and players growing more frustrated because he takes out his anger on them and is not a players coach. I hope Stoops succeeds for the UK football programs sake but I am now of the opinion he has too many emotional issues to succeed.

    • UK Big Board Update
      3:23 am December 28, 2015 Permalink


    • Catlogic15
      6:45 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Makes as much sense as any I guess.

    • inside info2
      8:08 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Cats hit the nail on the head. Stoops has a temper. He was asked to leave bars in Lexington several times before this season started due to arguments/fights with other patrons.

      Unfortunately thanks to Barnhart we will have to suffer through Stoops for 2 more seasons.

    • UK1983
      9:25 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      i think you are correct. the anger is not a positive sign of leadership. Assistants and coordinators can do that stuff – but someone has to have a level head and be in charge. Kind of embarrassing really. i have never seen angry coach on the sidelines positively impact a game ( or anything in life) – but what do i know.

      otherwise, i am like so many with HOPE this is a good hire. at the very least we have seen that it is not a bleak job if handled correctly. there is a passionate fan base wanting to support the team.

    • Wildcat09
      9:26 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Not many people understand what goes on behind closed doors at an SEC level program. Temper is a must… The pressure and assertiveness needed to give a program a chance is unbelievable, everything about a high level program is “business”. Every characteristic cats42301 described fits another former coach to a T… Rich Brooks. Who was far from a “players coach”. Everybody forgets when you win though… I hope Stoops can get it figured out, I think he can do it. There are obviously some issues but cats42301 is off on the reasoning of what it is…

  16. j4stone
    6:05 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    I hope I’m wrong, but the football program sounds like a train wreck. This does not look or sound good at all. Not just with Reese, but the entire situation so far this offseason.

  17. Laker Cat 18
    9:09 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. There has been nothing I’ve seen from Barker on the field or off the field that suggests he should be starting over Reese Phillips. Phillips is better.

  18. bigpops
    9:11 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Dumpster fire….the whole program is one big flaming dumpster fire. I have said it for three years now but I am still wrong apparently: Stoops is an awful head coach. Just plain awful. The players know it. Talk to some of them off the record. You might be surprised at some of the things you will hear. And I am not talking about disgruntled transfers. I am talking about two year starters that are still on the roster. They lay down on him every year and he can’t do anything to right the ship. Schedule is tougher next year. Only shot UK has at a bowl is to be 5-7 and get in due to a shortage of 6 win teams. Nebraska just won a bowl at 5-7 and their administration is refusing to pay bowl bonuses to tge coaching staff because they didn’t EARN a bowl with 5 wins. They get it. UK administration and fans don’t. UK football is in a sad state under Stoops but the majority of UK fans wear blinders that won’t allow them to see the reality of it all. Stoops is awful. He has beaten one team with a winning record in 3 years and that team was 7-6 with 3 cupcake wins. He is awful. Accept it. He is ours for at least two more years. Tailgate, eat and drink, play some cornhole, wear your blue, renew those season tickets…but don’t expect any miracles from this staff. Their leader is incompetent.

  19. Sentient Third Eye
    9:27 am December 28, 2015 Permalink

    Sounds like there was indeed a locker room divide, and Stoops ended it by naming Barker the starter, ala Mumme when he first arrived. Like Billy Jack Haskins back in the day, Reese probably has a legit beef about not being allowed a chance to win the job, but at the end of the day one player’s feelings are not as important as creating team unity.

    • 2thepoint
      12:22 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

      Spot on, I think Stoops even said there were guys who had been recruited by Joker that were not buying into the program. It is apparent Dawson was trying to cause dissension with Joker’s guys and it worked, but it cost him his job and is hurting UK right now.

      As far as temper goes almost every successful football coach has a temper problem. Just look at Petrino and how he is constantly in players and officials faces all game long every game. Has he been successful, yes!? Saban is salty even during interviews in between games.

  20. Megan
    12:18 pm December 28, 2015 Permalink

    As for Jonathan Miller’s column on Nazr, since it was closed for comment, it would be refreshing if we got to a point in this country, not to mention Kentucky, where the color of a person’s skin or the denomination of his religion isn’t news. Where it no longer makes headlines that a black person or Muslim has become the first such person to do a certain thing or hold a particular position.

    So it speaks well of the Rupp arena crowd, if it’s true, that Jonathan Miller “may have been only one of a few that noticed or cared” about the color of Nazr’s skin or the religion he practices. The paradox, of course, is that by noticing and caring enough to write about such things, things he believes most fans don’t care about, the author has, by his own terms, not yet joined the crowd he so admires.