University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart sent out an open letter to UK supporters on the school's website this afternoon announcing the firing of football coach Joker Phillips effective the end of the football season.
Barnhart said in his letter after much conversation, thought and prayer it was in the best interest in the athletics program to make the change. Barnhart said the search for a new coach will begin immediately. He added he was appreciative of Phillips 23 years of service to the university as a player and coach.
Kentucky has an open date this week before playing Samford and Tennessee to close out the season.
Barnhart's letter in full is available at www.ukathletics.com
High School Football
Christian County won its opening round Class 5-A playoff game in the Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl Friday night. Todd Hamilton has more:
The Hopkinsville Tigers lost to The Warren Central Dragons on Friday Night in the opening round of the class 5a playoffs. Jeff Sisk has more:
Other area scores: Fort Campbell defeated Hart County 57-8, South Warren over Trigg County 16-7, Madisonville defeated Allen County Scottsville 21-6, Russellville over Bethlehem 48-0, Murray shut out Union County 12-0, Warren East rolled over Calloway County 49-7, Bowling Green defeated Apollo 62-6, Graves County over Logan County 76-29.
College Football: Kentucky is back in action today hosting Vanderbilt, with coverage of the game at 9:30 am on Lite 98.7.
Also today in the SEC, number one Alabama plays at number 5 LSU, with coverage at 6:30 this evening on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.
Other games have Tennessee hosting Troy in a non conference game, Louisville looks to remain undefeated as the 10th ranked Cardinals host Temple.
In the OVC: Austin Peay hosts Culver Stockton and Murray State entertains Tennessee State.
College Basketball: Two area teams play exhibition games this evening, with Austin Peay hosting Central Missouri at 7 in the Dunn Center. Western Kentucky plays its final exhibition game hosting Kentucky Wesleyan at 7 in Diddle Arena.
High School Football
The Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl begins across the state this evening.
Class 5-A: The Hopkinsville Tigers are in the playoffs for the first time in three years as they travel to Warren Central this evening. The Tigers bring a 3-6 record into the game, while the Dragons, ranked third in the state in 5-A, are 9-1. The Dragons are very explosive offensively and Tiger coach Marc Adam Clark talks about what the Tigers must do to win:
Kickoff from Dragon Stadium at 7, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP and online at whopam.com.
Christian County begins its playoff run hosting Greenwood. It’s the first meeting between the two schools in six years as the Colonels bring a 8-2 record into the game, while the Gators are also 8-2. Colonels coach Steve Lovelace with his thoughts on the Gators:
Kickoff from the Stadium of Champions at 7, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Lite 98.7 and online at lite987whop.com.
Other games in 5-A have Bowling Green hosting Apollo and Graves County entertaining Logan County.
Class 3-A: Fort Campbell hosts Hart County, while Trigg County travels to South Warren, Paducah Tilghman hosts Adair County and Heath travels to Monroe County.
Class 2-A: Caldwell County entertains Butler County, Ballard Memorial goes to Hancock County, Union County at Murray, Crittenden County at Owensboro Catholic.
Class 4-A: Madisonville at Allen County Scottsville, Franklin Simpson at Lone Oak, Warren East hosts Calloway County and Owensboro welcomes Breckinridge County.
Class 6-A: Henderson County hosts Fern Creek, Marshall County at Eastern, Daviess County hosts Oldham County and Muhlenberg County at Ballard.
Class A: Mayfield hosts Caverna and Russellville hosts Bethlehem.
Heritage Christian Academy had its volleyball banquet last night. Grace Waldron, Haley Lisembee, Brette Walsh and Ashley Jent were all named most valuable players. Lisembee also won the Christian Character Award, with Walsh and Jent sharing the Heritage award along with Alicen Taylor. HCA was the runner up in the KCAA State tournament last weekend.
College Basketball: Kentucky opened its pre season with a 93-61 win over Northwood in Rupp Arena. Archie Goodwin had 22 points, Nerlens Noel added 17 and Alex Poythress scored 11 in the victory for the Wildcats. Madisonville’s Jon Hood also scored two points in the game. Kentucky will face Transylvania in its next pre season game.
Louisville opened pre season play with a 93-57 win over Pikeville. Freshman Montrezl Harrell led the Cards with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Holly Warlick’s first game as Tennessee’s women’s basketball coach saw the Lady Vols drill Carson Newman 104-44. Warlick says the Lady Vols have work to do and she will continue to experiment with the starting lineup, trying to find combinations that work well together.
College Football: Western Kentucky lost another tough Sun Belt contest to Middle Tennessee 34-29. Reggie Whatley’s 97 yard kickoff return broke a 24-24 tie with 6 minutes to go in the game and proved to be the game winner for MTSU. Former Fort Campbell standout Antonio Andrews rushed for 136 yards on 25 carries in a losing effort for Western. Andrews had a career best 392 all purpose yards in the contest.
The win makes Middle Tennessee bowl eligible at 6-3 and moved the Blue Raiders into second place in the Sun Belt at 4-1 behind Louisiana Monroe. WKU dropped to 6-3 on the season and 3-2 in the Belt. The Hilltoppers are already bowl eligible.
Saturday’s action includes Kentucky hosting Vanderbilt, with pre game coverage at 9:30 am on Lite 98.7. Also in the SEC tomorrow, top ranked Alabama is at LSU, with coverage at 6:30 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP. Tennessee hosts Troy.
In the OVC: Austin Peay hosts Culver Stockton, while Murray State entertains Middle Tennessee.
NFL: Tennessee Titans tight end Jared Cook says he’s happy with his role with the Titans and is worried about winning. Cook spoke following practice Thursday and dodged questions on whether he or his agent had asked for a trade earlier this week. Cook said he had to focus on Sunday’s game with the Chicago Bears. Kickoff at LP Field is at noon.
High School Football: Christian County, Hopkinsville and Fort Campbell are all going through final walkthroughs today for their playoff games in the Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl tomorrow night. High School Football presented by O’Charley’s has Hopkinsville at Warren Central, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.
Christian County hosts Greenwood, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Lite 98.7.
Fort Campbell hosts Hart County in the opening round in Class 3-A, with kickoff at Fryar Stadium at 7 pm.
College Basketball: Kentucky opens pre season action this evening against Northwood in Rupp Arena. The Seahawks are coached by Rollie Massamino, the same coach who took Villanova to the 1985 NCAA national championship in Rupp Arena. Tip off at 6, with pre game coverage at 4:30 on Lite 98.7.
Louisville opens pre season action up this evening hosting Pikeville University, which features a former Cardinal in Elisha Justice.
Tennessee’s Lady Vols play their first pre season game without Pat Summitt on the bench this evening in Knoxville. Holly Warlick is the new coach, and she will put several first year players into action this evening at Thompson Boiling Arena.
College Football: Middle Tennessee is hoping to get revenge for last year’s 36-33 double overtime loss as they play at Western Kentucky this evening. The 6-2 Hilltoppers are already bowl eligible and a win solidifies their chances for a post season bid, while a win for the Blue Raiders makes them bowl eligible. Kickoff for the nationally televised game on ESPN U is at 8:15.
Other games tonight have Virginia Tech at Miami and Washington is at Cal.
NFL: The San Diego Chargers are looking to get a season sweep of the Kansas City Chiefs this evening. In week four, the Chargers rolled over the Chiefs in KC 37-20. Air time for tonight’s game is at 7 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.
High School Football
Bluegrass Preps.com has released its weekly polls.
Class 5-A: Bowling Green is first, Warren Central 3rd, Christian County 7th and Graves County 9th.
Class 3-A: Louisville Central is number one, with Fort Campbell 5th and Paducah Tilghman 6th.
Class 2-A: Owensboro Catholic first this week, with Murray High 6th and Caldwell County 7th.
Class A: Mayfield number one, with Russellville 7th.
Class 4-A: Highlands first, with Lone Oak 9th and Warren East 10th.
Class 6-A: Trinity on top with Henderson County 6th.
The opening round of the Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl gets underway tomorrow night. High School Football presented by O’ Charley’s has Hopkinsville at Warren Central, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP and Christian County hosts Greenwood, with the Heritage Bank pre game show at 6:35 on Lite 98.7.
OVL Baseball: The Kentucky New Era reports there is possible expansion going on in the Ohio Valley League. The league website for several days has had a posting asking for general manager candidates for teams in three cities.
League president Gordon Guess says there is the possibility of a team in Indiana joining the league next season, but declined to name the city. A team from Union City, Tennessee had also shown interest, but Guess said a disagreement between the team and the city will likely keep the team from coming.
The league currently has teams in Hopkinsville, Marion, Fulton, Owensboro and Madisonville.
College Basketball: Pre season third ranked and defending national champion Kentucky opens exhibition play this evening against the NAIA Northwood Seahawks in Rupp Arena. Northwood played its first exhibition game earlier this week, losing to Michigan State 85-57. Tip off at 6, with pre game coverage at 4:30 on Lite 98.7.
Second ranked Louisville also opens exhibition play this evening, hosting Pikeville University. Coach Rick Pitino’s Cardinals will be without Kevin Ware and Chane Behanan who are serving suspensions this evening. Tip off at 6 at the KFC Yum Center.
College Football: Rivals Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee meet in Sun Belt action in Bowling Green this evening. The teams along with Arkansas State are 3-1 in Sun Belt play, with the winner tonight to move into second place.
The game also has bowl implications, though WKU is bowl eligible, a win moves them to seven for the season. Middle Tennessee becomes bowl eligible with a win this evening. Kickoff for the nationally televised game on ESPN U is at 8:15.
Other games of note tonight have Virginia Tech at Miami and Washington at California.
The Lexington Herald Leader reports University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said earlier this week the football program is not where they want it. Barnhart made the comments while speaking Tuesday to a group in Louisville. Barnhart also told the group he thinks the world of coach Joker Phillips and said the school has to figure out the football piece and get it going in the right direction.
Barnhart has denied several media requests through a UK spokesman to talk about the football program’s future.
NFL: The Tennessee Titans boosted their offensive line numbers Wednesday by signing veteran guard/center Kyle DeVan. DeVan signed with the Titans in June, but was waived in the final roster cuts. He has played in 36 games over the last three seasons in Indianapolis and Philadelphia.
The NFL weekend begins tonight with an AFC West showdown between Kansas City and San Diego, with coverage at 7 on Newstalk 95.3 FM/1230 AM WHOP.