DEMAREE: Phillips will face big decisions

To go or stay will perhaps be the question for offensive coordinator Joker Phillips in the future. Most college football coaches that rise to the level that Phillips has achieved, have visions of someday being at the helm of their own program.

Coaches are no different from outstanding players that have visions of play-for-pay in their future. This natural progression gives rise to the question that is becoming more and more prevalent as time passes--what will be the decision when confronted with the opportunity? I happen to believe Phillips will stay at UK if the conditions are right.

As the Kentucky Wildcats continue to win, the offense continues putting up points (44.6 at the present) at an unprecedented pace. As this phenomenon continues to develop, Phillips gains more and more national recognition for his accomplishments. Hence, he becomes hotter and hotter property as a candidate for a head-coaching job.

During the ESPN2 telecast of the Kentucky versus Arkansas game, the television cameras flashed to Joker Phillips in the coach's box calling plays. Announcer Bob Davie, former Notre Dame head coach talked about the proficiency of Phillips' play calling. With national telecasts opportunities continuing to present itself, this is likely to occur even more.

When informing Phillips of this gesture, he shrugged if off saying – "They have to talk about somebody and the only name they can remember is Joker. It is hard to forget that name. Having worked for Bob, I'm sure he is biased. We just have to continue doing our thing and this thing will work out." Phillips coached the receivers at Notre Dame under Bob Davie.

As a top recruiter, Joker Phillips has received national acclaim being named in the top ten recruiter's in the country by (Sports Illustrated. Com). Rivals named him the third best national recruiter last year. With all of this on his resume, he may still feel that UK is where he will be.

"This is home and this is the place I love and I want to see this thing through, I really do," Phillips strongly reiterated. "I'd like to win a championship here.

"I really respect coach Brooks. Coach Brooks has done an unbelievable job with this program and I just want to continue to learn as much as I can from him and let this thing fall where it may after that. He has a lot of knowledge in building programs and I want to learn all of that."

There are many who believe that Phillips should ascend to the head-coaching helm at UK when Brooks is done, perhaps even among my fellow Kentucky Sports Report writers. Is he taking a gamble by waiting out Brooks? What does he say to those who feel that head coaching experience is a pr-requisite for the top job?

"Urban Meyer (University of Florida head coach) had no head coaching experience – he had no coordinator experience, even," Phillips said. "Mark Richt (University of Georgia head coach) had none either." These are two examples in the SEC that point out the fact that there's no set formula for becoming a head coach.

"I don't know what constitutes being a great coach but we've got a great coach here at Kentucky."

Phillips is highly respected around the state of Kentucky amongst the high school coaches, and can sit down in the office of any of them and is treated with respect and it's obvious Phillips feels the love. And he feels he can become legendary right here at the University of Kentucky.

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