Phillips helped bring Lockwood to UK

When David Lockwood was coaching the secondary at Notre Dame, he often got to send his players against the receivers coached by Joker Phillips. "We had some good battles. He sent his best against my best. That way they all got better," said Lockwood, the former Minnesota defensive coordinator who was named UK's secondary coach.

When David Lockwood was coaching the secondary at Notre Dame, he often got to send his players against the receivers coached by Joker Phillips. "We had some good battles. He sent his best against my best. That way they all got better," said Lockwood, the former Minnesota defensive coordinator who was named UK's secondary coach.

Kentucky's biggest selling point with Lockwood, who turned down a chance to join the Kansas staff after Minnesota head coach Glen Mason lost his job, was Phillips. The Kentucky offensive coordinator had told Lockwood several weeks ago that Mike Archer might leave UK and if he did, there could be an opening at Kentucky that he might want to inquire about.

"Joker was a big selling point, but coach (Rich) Brooks put the final stamp on it," Lockwood said. "Those guys did their homework on us (the new UK coaches), but we have to do the same thing. The Kansas thing just did not feel right. This did feel right. I have not heard one bad thing about Kentucky. I've heard it was a great place to live and have a family, which is important to me since I have three kids. I want my kids to get a great education, which I have been told can happen here.

"We as coaches go into our own little world. We do our thing. But if the wife is happy and the kids are happy, I can make it just fine."

Lockwood says he had no qualms about joining the Kentucky staff even though the Wildcats play in the Southeastern Conference with some of the nation's best teams.

"Right now Kentucky is a team on the rise," Lockwood said. "They have earned respect and people know who we are now. When you look at the conference from top to bottom, there are no easy games, including Kentucky. It's all about believing and making it happen, which Kentucky has done."

Lockwood says it is no surprise to him that Phillips has put together a productive offense at Kentucky.

"Heck, no, it's not a surprise at all that Joker has done well," Lockwood said. "It is just about having the opportunity. He has got that here and has taken it and run with it. It's no surprise to me at all that he has been successful. He's a great guy, a great coach. I see nothing but great things in the future for him."

Bright enough that maybe UK's offense can carry the defense again next year if needed?

"He can carry us for two years as long as we win. If we slow them down and they score points, I don't care who is carrying who as long as we win," said Lockwood. "I'm all about winning. That's all that matters to me, and all that really matters to Joker as well. That's why we get along so well."


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