Barnhart wrote an open letter to Wildcat fans, and posted it on UKAthletics.com Sunday.
After much conversation, evaluation and prayer, I have determined that it is in the best interest of our athletics program to make a change in our football coaching staff at the conclusion of the season. I do so with a heavy heart for a man who has served his alma mater for almost 22 years as a player and a coach. Joker Phillips has carried the banner for the Blue and White with honor and pride. I have enjoyed working alongside him and am thankful for his friendship for the last decade. His concern for the entire program, his work and teaching of young people, his humanitarian work, and the friendship we all enjoy with him will long surpass the scoreboard. I want to thank him for all of those things on behalf of Kentucky.
The open letter came a day after the Wildcats were embarrassed by Vanderbilt 40-0 at home.
Kentucky hasn’t had a winning SEC record in football since 1977.
The search for a new coach will begin immediately according to Barnhart.
The usual suspect of candidates will be read off of course, with a few young guns.
Western Kentucky’s Willie Taggert is a hot prospect of course.
As is Louisiana Tech’s Sonny Dykes, and the sexy name of the bunch Bobby Petrino may surface at the top of the list.
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