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Joker Phillips
Joker Phillips

Recruiting Coordinator/Wide Receivers – 1st Season


Coaching Experience


Florida (Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator)


Kentucky (Head Coach)


Kentucky (Head Coach of the Offense/Wide Receivers)


Kentucky (Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers)


Kentucky (Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator)


South Carolina (Wide Receivers)


Notre Dame (Wide Receivers)


Minnesota (Wide Receivers)


Cincinnati (Defensive Backs)


Cincinnati (Wide Receivers)


Kentucky (Wide Receivers)


Kentucky (Assistant Recruiting Coordinator)


Kentucky (Graduate Assistant)


Coaching Accomplishments

  • Phillips came to UF after being the head coach at the University of Kentucky for the past three seasons (2010-12).
  • A native Kentuckian and former Wildcat player, Phillips was only the fifth Kentucky alumnus to become head coach of the Wildcats. Phillips was UK’s first African-American head football coach and only the second in the history of the Southeastern Conference.
  • Became the first coach in Kentucky history to take a team to a bowl game in his first season. In addition, Phillips won more games than any first-year UK coach since Blanton Collier in 1954. His teams also broke long-time streaks with wins over South Carolina and Tennessee.
    • Prior to being elevated to head coach, Phillips was on the staff of head coach Rich Brooks from 2003-09, including the last five seasons as offensive coordinator. Named offensive coordinator before the 2005 season, he made an immediate impact as Kentucky improved its scoring average and total offense in each of the first three years under his direction.
    • The yearly progression reached its zenith when Kentucky scored a school-record 475 points during its 13-game schedule in 2007, helping spark the Wildcats to a second-consecutive Music City Bowl championship. Total offense also was a highlight of the '07 season. UK's total offense of 5,764 yards was the second-highest total in school history. The average of 443.4 yards per game is fourth in UK annals.
    • Phillips was nationally acclaimed following Kentucky's 43-37 upset of No. 1 LSU. He was named National Coordinator of the Week by and the National Offensive Coordinator of the Week by the Master Coaches Survey.
    • Phillips' offensive style has shown flexibility and balance between the run and the pass. During his time as offensive coordinator, UK has had a 3,000-yard passer (André Woodson, who accomplished the feat twice), two 1,000-yard receivers (Keenan Burton and Steve Johnson) and a 1,000-yard rusher (Rafael Little, who reached the mark twice).
    • As wide receivers coach, Phillips mentored some of the best in Kentucky school history - Burton, Johnson, Dicky Lyons, Jr. and Derek Abney. With Burton, Johnson and Lyons leading the way, along with tight end Jacob Tamme and tailback Rafael Little, Kentucky was the only team in the nation in 2007 that had five players with at least 1,000 receiving yards during their careers.
    • In addition to his coaching, Phillips also is a highly effective recruiter, as his straightforward, likeable personality earns the trust of young players and their families. He served as UK's recruiting coordinator in 2003-04, giving up that post because of his additional offensive responsibilities, but continued to be deeply involved in recruiting.
    • Phillips' abilities in that area have become known across the country, as he has been identified as one of the nation's top recruiters by and
    • Phillips began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1988-89. In 1990, he served as an assistant recruiting coordinator. He was a full-time assistant coach, in charge of the wide receivers, from 1991-96. In 1991, under Phillips' guidance, wide receiver Neal Clark broke the single-season record for pass receptions with 47 catches. Craig Yeast, who became the SEC's all-time leading receiver, played his first two seasons under Phillips in 1995-96.
    • Phillips returned to UK from South Carolina, where he coached the wide receivers under head coach Lou Holtz in 2002. Gamecock newcomer Troy Williamson earned SEC All-Freshman honors that year and went on to become the No. 7 pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.
    • Phillips also has coached at Cincinnati (1997-98), Minnesota (1999-2000) and Notre Dame (2001). At Minnesota, he guided All-Big Ten wide receiver Ron Johnson, who went on to play for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. In his year at Notre Dame, Phillips placed two wideouts in the NFL, Javin Hunter and David Givens.
    • As a coach, nine of his teams have gone to bowl games, including UK to the 1993 Peach Bowl, 2006, `07 and '09 Music City Bowls, the Liberty Bowl following the 2008 season and the BBVA Compass Bowl after the 2010 season; Cincinnati to the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl; and Minnesota to the 1999 Sun Bowl and 2000 Bowl.


Prominent Players Coached


  • WR KEENAN BURTON – 2006 AP All-SEC First Team. Became the third UK receiver to go over 1,000 yards receiving in a single season. Drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the fourth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.
  • WR RANDALL COBB – 2010 AP All-America First Team honoree. Drafted by the Green Bay Packers in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft. Owns the NFL record for longest kickoff return.
  • WR STEVE JOHNSON – Caught 60 passes for 1,041 yards in 2007. His 1,041 yards in one season ranks second all-time in UK history. Has played for the NFL’s Buffalo Bills for the past five seasons.
  • QB ANDRE WOODSON – Led Kentucky to its first bowl win in 22 years in the 2006 Music City Bowl. Broke Danny Wuerffel’s SEC record of passing touchdowns in one season. Was drafted by the New York Giants in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft.


  • WR TROY WILLIAMSON – AP First Team All-SEC in 2004. Was drafted seventh overall in the 2005 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Played five seasons in the NFL.


  • WR DAVID GIVENS – Played six seasons in the NFL. Won two Super Bowls as a member of the New England Patriots.


  • WR RON JOHNSON – First Team All-Big Ten in 2000. Drafted in the fourth round by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2002 NFL Draft.


  • WR CHAD PLUMMER – Led Cincinnati to its first bowl win since 1951 in the 1997 Humanitarian Bowl. Drafted in the sixth round by the Denver Broncos in the 1999 NFL Draft.

NFL Players (Round Drafted)

  • WR Kio Sanford (7th) – Kentucky ’98 – San Diego Chargers
  • WR Craig Yeast (4th) – Kentucky ’99 – Cincinnati Bengals
  • WR Chad Plummer (6th) – Cincinnati ’99 – Denver Broncos
  • WR Ron Johnson (4th) – Minnesota ’02 – Baltimore Ravens
  • WR Javin Hunter (6th) – Notre Dame ’02 – Baltimore Ravens
  • WR David Givens (7th) – Notre Dame ’02 – New England Patriots
  • WR Derek Abney (7th) – Kentucky ’04 – Baltimore Ravens
  • WR Troy Williamson (1st) – South Carolina ’05 – Minnesota Vikings
  • WR Glenn Holt (UFA) – Kentucky ’06 – Cincinnati Bengals
  • TE Jacob Tamme (4th) – Kentucky ’08 – Indianapolis Colts
  • WR Keenan Burton (4th) – Kentucky ’08 – St. Louis Rams
  • QB Andre Woodson (6th) – Kentucky ’08 – New York Giants
  • WR Steve Johnson (7th) – Kentucky ’08 – Buffalo Bills
  • RB John Conner (5th) – Kentucky ‘5th – New York Jets
  • RB Alfonso Smith (UFA) – Kentucky ’10 – Arizona Cardinals
  • WR Randall Cobb (2nd) – Kentucky ’11 – Green Bay Packers
  • OL Larry Warford (3rd) – Kentucky ’13 – Detroit Lions

Playing Career

Participated in football, basketball and track at Franklin-Simpson High School. Was all-state in football, playing quarterback and cornerback, and all-region in basketball. Wide receiver at the University of Kentucky from 1981-84, finishing his career fifth on the school career receiving list with 75 catches for 935 yards and nine touchdowns. Wide receiver with the Washington Redskins (NFL) in 1985 and 1987 and with the Toronto Argonauts (CFL) 1986.

Personal Information

  • Name: Joe “Joker” Phillips, Jr. – Nicknamed “Joker” as a baby by his grandfather in order to distinguish Joker from his father, Joe Phillips Sr.
  • Birthdate: May 12, 1963
  • Hometown: Franklin, Ky.
  • Education: 1986 – Bachelor’s Degree in Advertising from the University of Kentucky
  • Family: Married to Dr. Leslie Phillips

Bowl Games as a Coach









Music City


Music City




 Music City


BBVA Compass


Bowl Games as a Player


Hall of Fame


Hall of Fame

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