The Wildcats, who are 1-9 and 0-7 in the Southeastern Conference, are coming off two brow-raising losses — a 33-10 loss to struggling Missouri and last weekend's 40-0 home blowout to the hands of Vanderbilt.
Those performances were ultimately the undoing of Phillips' reign under Big Blue Nation, as Barnhart wrote this heartfelt statement in the 10-paragraph letter:
Phillips has a 12-23 (4-19 SEC) record since taking over the team in 2010, with his best win coming against No. 10 South Carolina that season.
After much conversation, evaluation and prayer, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our athletics program to make a change in our football coaching staff at the conclusion of the season. I do so with a heavy heart for a man who has served his alma mater for almost 22 years as a player and a coach. Joker Phillips has carried the banner for the Blue and White with honor and pride. I have enjoyed working alongside him and am thankful for his friendship for the last decade. His concern for the entire program, his work and teaching of young people, his humanitarian work, and the friendship we all enjoy with him will long surpass the scoreboard. I want to thank him for all of those things on behalf of Kentucky.
Unfortunately for Kentucky, a change of coach isn't going to revive the program or make it a contender in arguably the strongest conference in collegiate sports. The Wildcats haven't had a winning SEC record since 1977, and that doesn't look to change anytime soon.
Barnhart concluded by saying the search for a new coach will start immediately, but he did not mention whether or not there was a specific person of interest.
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