|Joker Phillips has been an offensive assistant for the better part of his 24-year coaching career. (US Presswire)|
Former Kentucky coach Joker Phillips did not spend much time on the open market, landing in Gainesville as Florida's new wide receivers coach and recruiting coordinator.
Gators coach Will Muschamp announced the hire Monday, filling the vacancy left by Aubrey Hill's abrupt resignation Aug. 3. The position was filled by graduate assistant Bush Hamdan on an interim basis during the 2012 season.
"We are excited to have Joker join our staff," Muschamp said in an official statement. "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."
Phillips is set to start work with the Gators' staff Friday. He was relieved of his duties at Kentucky after going 13-24 in three seasons, with a 4-20 record in SEC play. "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."
Moving back to wide receivers coach should be no problem for Phillips, a veteran of the college coaching community since 1988. Phillips played wide receiver for Kentucky, then spent two extended stints on the coaching staff as an offensive assistant -- between stops at Minnesota, Cincinnati, Notre Dame, and South Carolina -- before succeeding Wildcats coach Rich Brooks in 2010.
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