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Phillips eager to begin practice

LEXINGTON, Ky. – Recently, Coach Joker Phillips’ life has been filled with a succession of public and media appearances as everyone looks forward to the 2012 season.

And, after two more such events – UK Media Day on Friday and Fan Day on Saturday – it will be time to get down to the business of coaching a football team.

“I really enjoy those weeks before we start practice,” Phillips said. “They get you back into the flow of teaching, and the speaking things that I do also get you back into the flow of addressing your football team also. Those things have been really helpful.”

Some of Phillips’ recent events have been:

• GameDay Ready tour event in Franklin, Ky., which is free to the public and features working with children and meeting parents / adults from the community
• GameDay Ready tour event in West Liberty
• GameDay Ready tour event in Pikeville
• Speech at Lexington Rotary Club
• Speech at Louisville Quarterback Club
• GameDay Ready tour event in Louisville
• SEC Media Day
• A day of interviews at the ESPN “Car Wash” in Connecticut
• Governor’s Cup reception in Louisville
• Governor’s Cup golf/news conference in Louisville
• UK Kickoff Luncheon
• UK Women’s Clinic

And, in between, there have been numerous coaches’ meetings as preparations are finalized. Soon, it’s time for football, and that has the coach revved up.

“Very excited,” Phillips said. “One of the reasons you’re so excited is the momentum we took through the offseason, having a good spring (practice), and all the reports I have heard from the strength and conditioning (coaches) is that our guys have done a really good job this summer and have done a lot of things on their own and together. Those things are what make a team, so we are excited to work with this football team.”

Of course, all coaches are happy to finally work with the freshmen after having signed them back in February. Phillips likes the first impression.

“(They have) A lot of great personalities, and from top to bottom they all have that look in their eye,” Phillips said. “That’s what coaches are always excited to work with because they are young, excited and anxious (to begin).”


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