Joker Phillips resigns as Florida's wide receivers coach

Wednesday June 11th, 2014

Joker Phillips (above) has resigned as Florida's wide receivers coach and will be replaced by Chris Leak.
Matt Stamey/Gainesville Sun/Landov

Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips has resigned, the school announced on Wednesday. Phillips, who was Kentucky's head coach from 2010-12, came to Florida after being fired in Lexington. Gators coach Will Muschamp moved quickly to replace Phillips, elevating former Florida quarterback Chris Leak to receivers coach from graduate assistant.

Florida did not offer a reason for Phillips' sudden resignation. Leak, who started for the Gators' 2006 national title team, had rejoined the program as a graduate assistant in '13.

Florida's receivers didn't find much success in Phillips' lone season in Gainesville. After losing starting quarterback Jeff Driskel to a broken leg against Tennessee on Sept. 21, the Gators struggled in the passing game. Florida, which went 4-8 in 2013, finished 12th in the SEC in passing offense (170.9 yards a game) and last in the SEC in total offense (316.7 yards a game).

Following the season, Muschamp parted ways with offensive coordinator Brent Pease and offensive line coach Tim Davis. Muschamp hired Kurt Roper from Duke to run the offense and Mike Summers from USC to coach the offensive line. Summers previously worked for Phillips at Kentucky from 2010-11.

Leak was with the Gators this spring as Florida's players and coaches worked to install Roper's offense. "Chris is a bright young coach," Muschamp said in a statement. "He is one of the all-time Gator greats and being at Florida is very important to him. He has been working with coach Roper and our offensive staff and is very familiar with our players and new system."

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide - from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Seth Davis, and more - delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.