GAINESVILLE, Fla. Joker Phillips wants to win again. He needs to win again.Wins were difficult to come by the last couple of seasons for Phillips as head coach at Kentucky.
In 2010, the Kentucky graduate became the first coach in school history to take the Wildcats to a bowl game in his first season. Over the next two seasons the Wildcats won only seven games, including a 2-10 record this season.
Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart announced that Phillips would not be back next season in an open letter on the athletic departments website the morning of Nov. 4. The well-liked Phillips coached the final two games of the regular season, said goodbye to his players and staff, packed up his office and contemplated his future.
At 49, Phillips and his wife Leslie, a professor at Georgetown (Ky.) College, discussed that maybe it was time to relax and take some time off. Maybe after 24 consecutive seasons on the sideline since taking his first coaching job as a graduate assistant in 19...