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Fans in Eastern Kentucky have mixed feelings about Joker's firing

By: Tanner Hesterberg Email
By: Tanner Hesterberg Email

HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - The firing of Joker Phillips is drawing mixed feedback from Big Blue fans.

Some fans say it was a move they saw coming and some say Joker deserved more time.

The common thread among everyone that talked to WYMT’s Tanner Hesterberg is that Joker will always be remembered for his character.

A sparse crowd at Commonwealth Stadium watched Joker Phillip's team sputter during a 40-nothing loss to Vanderbilt on Saturday.

UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart fired Phillips on Sunday after a 12-and-23 record in three seasons.

“When it comes to coaching you either win or move on. I bear no malice to Mr. Phillips. I wish him the best. I think he's probably a very good man but it just didn't work out for him at UK,” Don Campbell said.

The young Wildcats are currently mired in a 1-and-9 season.

“Six, seven wins a year here at Kentucky. We don't ask much of our football team. Just get us to a bowl game every year and you'll be here forever,” Scott Mason said.

But some fans think Phillips deserved more time.

“I think their emphasis on winning sometimes overpowers their common sense. I think Joker ought to be given another opportunity,” Bill Tussey said.

Many fans are now hoping for a big-name coaching hire.

Phillips still had two years remaining on his contract.
Joker will coach Kentucky's final two games.

The Cats have a bye this Saturday before hosting Samford the following Saturday and then closing out the season at Tennessee.


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