University of Kentucky athletic director Mitch Barnhart said that a change was needed when he announced that head football coach Joker Phillips would be let go at the end of the season. Phillips issued a statement thanking Barnhart and former coach Rich Brooks for their support, but acknowledged that things have not gone well in Lexington.
Phillips, who was a wide receiver for the Wildcats in the early 1980s, has been with Kentucky as a coach from 1988-1996 and 2003-2012. The team made it to a bowl game during his first season at the helm in 2010, but has regressed each of the past two years, culminating with this year's 1-9 record. In almost three full seasons in charge, Phillips has a record of 12-23, and only 4-19 in SEC play.
UK basketball coach John Calipari tweeted that he spoke with Phillips earlier, stressing that people simply wanted to win more, while empathizing with Phillips' fate.