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By LARRY VAUGHT
Joker Phillips talked about his future at his regular Monday press conference today leading up to Saturday’s game with Samford.
Question: Have you had time to think about your future?
Phillips: No. I mean, it’s way too soon. I (arrived) here 10 years ago — first of all, it’s hard to be at a place for 10 years in this business. I’ve been here for 10 years, and five of those years bowl games, three of them I’ve been the head coach, five I’ve been the offensive coordinator. That’s as much as anybody can ask for. I left here 10 years ago, or actually 16 years ago and was out there building a nice little résumé for myself and will continue that. We’ve got a chance to see and coach a lot of different other conferences, had some success along the way, and we will continue that.
Question: Have you gotten calls or have people reached out?
Phillips: Everybody, yeah, a lot of friends. I don’t have a lot of enemies. I’ve got a lot of friends, so everybody is reaching out. But I haven’t had a chance to get back with everyone. But we will. People understand the business. People understand the emotions that come with the business, therefore the friends that I have are definitely going to reach out to you.
Question: You said you didn’t want to be a distraction. How have practices been?
Phillips: Practices have been good, upbeat. We’ve had no problem with that part of the whole season. We’ve had some upbeat practices, been positive, had some fun. Again, you’re so young, guys are just excited to be out there on the football field.
Question: If you had it to do over again, I know how much you love this program, would you stay 15 years as a coordinator versus taking this chance of being a head coach?
Phillips: Nothing is guaranteed. You could be a coordinator ‑‑ first of all, it’s not going to happen. You’re not going to be a coordinator. After year three (with Coach Brooks), the noise started then. We were one of the best that’s ever been here. I wouldn’t be a coordinator for 15 years. Again, it’s all about growth. It’s all about growth in the business, growth as a human being, and this right now is the right thing to be doing for me. I mean, you can’t look back and say would you have done it different. No, I’ve enjoyed the process, and I’m ready to continue growing.