Well this is certainly an abrupt — and positively stunning — turn of events.
Much to the shock of pretty much everyone, Florida sent out a release Wednesday afternoon that Joker Phillips had, effective immediately, resigned as the Gators’ wide receivers coach. Phillips will be replaced by graduate assistant and former UF quarterback Chris Leak.
Other than “personal reasons,” no motive for the creation of an unexpected hole in head coach Will Muschamp‘s coaching staff was given. Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com subsequently tweeted that “[p]er source, Joker Phillips worked the Florida camp today. This is unusual.”
“I appreciate Joker’s contributions to our program and wish him and his wife, Leslie, nothing but the best in the future,” Muschamp said in a statement.
One month after being fired as Kentucky’s head coach, Phillips came to the Gators for what turned out to be one season.
Phillips, whose main mark while at UF was as a recruiter and Twitter genius, would’ve been entering his second season in Gainesville after replacing Aubrey Hill in late December of 2012. Hill himself abruptly resigned in August of 2012 because of “personal issues.”
“I’m thankful for the opportunity that the University of Florida and Will Muschamp provided to me and my family,” Phillips said, “but at this time I have decided to step down from my position on the UF coaching staff for personal reasons.”