LEXINGTON, KY (WAVE) - University of Kentucky head football coach Joker Phillips was fired on Sunday, effective at the end of the season. On Tuesday, Phillips addressed the media for the first time since the announcement.
He said that the decision to coach the final two games was not an easy one. "You know it was hard because I don't want to be a distraction, I don't. I've had my senior day, somebody was saying let's send him out, I don't want to be sent. I don't want an open casket, I don't want to be somebody's centerpiece," Phillips said.
The Cats final home game is Saturday, November 17, hosting Samford.
For the players, it is also an emotional time. They play on, knowing that most, if not all, of their coaches will not on the U.K. sidelines next season.
"It's a sad feeling," linebacker Avery Williamson said. "Coach Phillips has been here for 3 years for me. He recruited me coming out of high school and stuff and so it's a sad feeling, knowing that all the coaches are going to be gone. They're like family."
Phillips took the high road, saying that for U.K. football to be competitive in the Southeastern Conference, the fans will have to come back out and support the program. He is putting his money where his mouth is.
"I'll continue to buy my season tickets, I won't buy as many, I won't buy as many, but I'll still continue to buy my season tickets and we all have a hand if we want this thing to succeed, we all do," Phillips said.
The Cats are 1-9 this season, and have lost 8 in a row. In Phillips' 3 seasons as the head coach, they are 13-23, with one bowl game, the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl.
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