Taylor's Thoughts: Kudos to Joker, Cats

Joker Phillips is one of the finest college football coaches I know. He's a fine person, too. That's why I believe the football program will be in fine hands once current coach Rich Brooks decides to leave the program on his own terms.

In present tense, Brooks deserved an extension and got it. Phillips deserved a promising future. He got it.

Kentucky, Brooks and Phillips were all winners when the school announced that Phillips would succeed Brooks in the future.

The move is a great one, considering many programs are going that route in an effort to assure recruits the program won't undergo an immediate drastic change in leadership.

Ironically, Eddie Sutton began this trend a few years ago when Oklahoma State named his son Sean the coach in waiting once he stepped down. Of course the transition wasn't as smooth as Sutton anticipated, considering he had to leave his post sooner than expected because of his continued drinking habits off the court.

Just more than a week ago, former Eastern Kentucky University coach Danny Hope was hired to succeed Joe Tiller at Purdue University. Hope currently is the associate head coach and will take over for Tiller in 2009.

Although there are risks involved with coaching moves that buck the trend, but you can't blame the universities for trying to instill stability into a program.

For Brooks, Phillips and Kentucky, the coaching staff will no longer have to face questions while on the recruiting trail about who will be the coach in five years. That question has already been answered.

Stability brings a comfort zone, which hasn't been at Kentucky in decades. Continuity also brings a reassurance to fans, coaches and fans.

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