Kentucky Fires Football Coach Joker Phillips With Team at 1-9

The University of Kentucky fired football coach Joker Phillips yesterday, a day after the Wildcats were beaten by Vanderbilt University 40-0, their worst loss against the Commodores in 96 years.

The 49-year-old Phillips, who will coach this season’s final two games, has a 12-23 record over three years at Kentucky. The Wildcats are 1-9 and 0-7 in the Southeastern Conference after eight straight losses.

“Our football program is not where we want it to be and we are all disappointed; coaches, players, administration and our fans,” Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart said on the school’s website. “It is in the best interest of our athletics program to make a change in our football coaching staff at the conclusion of the season.”

Barnhart said the search for a new coach will begin immediately.

Phillips played wide receiver at Kentucky from 1981-84 and had two stints as an assistant at the school before taking over as coach in January 2010 when Rich Brooks retired.

To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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