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UF hires former UK head coach Joker Phillips to coach receivers

Fired as Kentucky's head coach in November, Joker Phillips did not have to wait long to find work. Florida coach Will Muschamp hired Phillips on Monday to be the Gators' new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.

Graduate assistant Bush Hamdan held the position on an interim basis this season after Aubrey Hill resigned in August. Phillips will start with UF on Friday.

"We are excited to have Joker join our staff," Muschamp said in a school release. "His background as a head coach and the number of years he has coached wide receivers will be a tremendous asset to our coaching staff and players."

Phillips began his career as a graduate assistant at Kentucky in 1989 and previously has coached wide receivers at Cincinnati (1997), Minnesota (1999-2000), Notre Dame (2001) and South Carolina (2002). He returned to Kentucky in 2003 as the wide receives coach and recruiting coordinator and remained there until he was fired. 

"Joker is obviously very familiar with the Southeastern Conference and has always done a great job in recruiting," Muschamp said. "Obviously I had a number of experiences with Joker both on and off the field, as our paths have crossed often, but I’ve been really impressed with Joker Phillips as a man during this hiring process."

Phillips held a 13-24 record in three seasons as Kentucky's head coach, but he was able to draw some talented prospects to Lexington during his time there. Current Buffalo Bills receiver Steve Johnson and Green Bay Packers receiver Randall Cobb both played under Phillips at Kentucky. He also recruited receiver and top-10 overall pick Troy Williamson while at South Carolina.

"I’m thrilled to become part of the Gator family," Phillips told the school's website. "I’m looking forward to the opportunity to compete and win at the highest level. I believe in coach Muschamp’s philosophy and what he has done in his short time here at Florida is phenomenal. I’m looking forward to contributing to the long-term vision that he has for this program. In addition, it will be very rewarding to be involved in the hands-on development of the players I will coach."


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