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JOKER PHILLIPS
DAN GREENE
August 17, 2012
ON SHUTTING OUT THE NOISE AND CHANGING YOUR LIFE
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August 17, 2012

Joker Phillips

ON SHUTTING OUT THE NOISE AND CHANGING YOUR LIFE

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SI: What lessons have you learned from your first two years as head coach?

JP: Trust your plan. One thing I was told by Coach [Rich] Brooks on his way out was, "Don't listen to the noise." The noise gets louder with every loss. We understand that. But we trust what we're doing.

SI: How has the athletic department changed since you were a player here in the early 1980s?

JP: Mr. [Mitch] Barnhart's come in here and done a great job with every program. Our baseball team was Number 1 for a few weeks, our basketball team's winning titles, our tennis team won the SEC, our volleyball team is competing at a high level, our rifle team won the national title, we've been to five bowls in six years. The program is a lot better than when I played here.

SI: DOES THE HOOPS TITLE IMPACT YOU?

JP: EVERY FOOTBALL PLAYER THINKS HE'S A BASKETBALL PLAYER, SO [DURING RECRUITING] WE SELL, "COME WATCH THE NUMBER 1 TEAM IN THE COUNTRY." IT GIVES US A CHANCE TO SELL WHAT WE HAVE IN FOOTBALL.

SI: How did your annual humanitarian trip to Ethiopia come about?

JP: Jason Schlafer, who does the marketing in the athletic department, adopted [a child from] Ethiopia and came up with the idea to do a tour there. I thought it was a great idea to take a couple players and do some community service, which is what we are about at Kentucky. I don't care what kind of background you have. It'll change your life.

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