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Joker Phillips on next Connections
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University of Kentucky head football coach Joker Phillips discusses his new job and his Kentucky roots on the next Connections with Renee Shaw, airing Friday, March 26 at 5/4 p.m. CT on KET2 and Sunday, March 28 at 1:30/12:30 p.m. CT on KET.

Phillips first describes growing up in the tight-knit community of Franklin, Ky. An accomplished athlete in several sports, he talks about why he chose to pursue a career in football. He shares how he got the name Joker, his true feelings about his high school rivals and why he doesn’t travel with an entourage.

Phillips also discusses becoming the head coach at his alma mater, his relationship with former coach Rich Brooks and his thoughts about being the first African-American head football coach at U.K.

Finally, the coach talks about his goals at U.K., including changing perceptions about the football team and recruiting players who have strong character and a sincere desire to earn a degree. Phillips explains his disciplinary coaching style and lays out his “Operation Win” strategy –– a military approach to managing the team in which the players must win in the classroom, in the community and on the field.

Connections with Renee Shaw is a KET production, produced by Shaw and Carolyn Gwinn. More information about Connections, including streaming video, is available at

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