Kentucky head coach Joker Phillips addresses reporters during SEC Media Days last month. Phillips, who is in his first year as UK’s coach, is among the growing ranks of black FBS head coaches.
HOOVER, Ala. (AP) -- Kentucky coach Joker Phillips believes last year's mediocre season is a minor bump on the road to consistent success.
Kentucky made five straight bowl games from 2006 to '10, but regressed to a 5-7 record last season. The Wildcats ended the year on a high note, beating Tennessee for the first time since 1984, but must replace many key players.
During the five-year bowl streak, Phillips said Kentucky has did a good job of stocking quality young players and "now those guys have to go out and play."
Kentucky returns 11 starters, including receiver La'Rod King and quarterback Morgan Newton. King led the team with 40 catches for 598 yards and seven touchdowns last season.