I like Joker Phillips. Always have. For some reason I seem to be in the minority. If you live in Kentucky, his name is one of the most controversial one can mention. Right behind Obama, Joel Pett and Rick Pitino. In reality the fan base has never really embraced Joker since he ascended to the head coach position. These are the same folks that would have chastised UK were he to leave when he was one of the hot offensive coordinators in college football.
But the question here is why don’t people like Joker Phillips? He is a Kentucky-man , he loves the University as his home. If he can get over the hump and experience some success, Joker would be far more unlikely to leave for a better job than most other coaches would. He is relatively young, so his tenure could be a long one before retirement. His players and staff love him and seem to be rallying around him. He can recruit better than any head coach in Kentucky history who followed the rules and didn’t go by “Bear”. But he is far from perfect (I’m sure you just chuckled) and I have compiled a list of reasons I believe people are disillusioned with CJP:
- His record – Phillips is 11-14 in his 2 years on the job. The prior 2 years Kentucky finished 15-11. In reality the difference is only 3 games but the perception is that the program has regressed back to the days prior to the Rich Brooks era. Memories are short, as UK is light-years ahead as a program now. The loss of the bowl streak is disappointing.