football

UK assistants get new titles

Sanders now offensive coordinator

ccosby@herald-leader.comJanuary 16, 2009 

University of Kentucky Coach Rich Brooks has announced a pair of title changes among his offensive staff.

Offensive coordinator Joker Phillips has been named head coach of the offense while quarterbacks coach Randy Sanders will now have the title of offensive coordinator. Phillips will take over the head coaching duties from Brooks when he retires.

"We want to continue to recognize Joker for what he has accomplished here and reward Randy for his job well done during his three years on the staff," Brooks said in a statement released by the school.

The changes will not affect the day-to-day operations of UK football. Phillips remains responsible for overseeing the game plan and making the play calls on game days. Sanders remains UK's recruiting coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

"I thank Coach Brooks for his continued confidence in me," Phillips said. "I'm excited to keep working closely with Randy."

Sanders has been instrumental in the development of the Wildcats quarterbacks since arriving at UK in 2006. Andre Woodson left Kentucky as one of the most prolific QBs in Southeastern Conference history. Sanders was faced with a bigger challenge in 2008, as neither of his top two quarterbacks, Mike Hartline nor Randall Cobb, had ever started a collegiate game.

But Hartline led the Wildcats to six wins as a starter and Cobb showed flashes of being a big-time playmaker as a quarterback, receiver and kick returner.

Sanders served as offensive coordinator at Tennessee for seven seasons. He has interviewed for head coaching jobs at other schools each of the past two off-seasons.

"I'm grateful to Rich Brooks and Joker Phillips for giving me the opportunity to come to Kentucky three years ago and appreciate them giving me this title," Sanders said in the statement. "I look forward to continue working together toward our goals of winning bowl games and SEC championships."

Warford returns to team

Cornerback Paul Warford, who missed the 2008 season because of academic issues, has re-enrolled at UK and will participate in spring practice.

Warford played in all 13 games, including three starts, as a true freshman in 2006. He was a full-time starter in the '07 season and totaled 41 tackles and two interceptions. Warford will have two years of eligibility remaining.

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