Joker Phillips named receivers coach

Florida coach Will Muschamp didn't waste time filling the void on his coaching staff. He announced on November 26 that he would be talking to receivers coaches, and exactly one week later, the Gators made it official. Aubrey Hill resigned before the start of fall camp and graduate assistant Bush Hamdan filled during the season, but Joker Phillips will replace him when he starts work on Friday.

"We are excited to have Joker join our staff," Will Muschamp told Florida's official website. "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. Joker is obviously very familiar with the Southeastern Conference and has always done a great job in recruiting.

"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 will also take the reigns as Florida's recruiting coordinator.

The familiarity with the conference was an important part of the hire for Muschamp. Phillips was recently fired at Kentucky, ending his three-year reign as head coach with a 13-24 record. When he was named the head coach at Kentucky, Phillips was the second African American to be named a head coach in the SEC.

Before taking over as head coach, Phillips served as the offensive coordinator from 2005-09, while also coaching the wide receivers for the Wildcats, including coaching current NFL wide receivers Stevie Johnson and Randall Cobb.

"I'm thrilled to become part of the Gator family," Phillips said. "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."

Phillips played wide receiver at Kentucky from 1981-84, totaling 935 yards and nine touchdowns in his career. He played two years in the NFL with the Washington Redskins before spending time in the Canadian Football League.

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