Joker Phillips, Tee Martin Quotes

Feb. 9, 2010

Head Coach Joker Phillips on the hiring of new wide receviers coach Tee Martin

On Tee Martin giving him a little bang for his buck on the coaching staff ...

"We have the national championship coordinator (from 1998), too. We have a couple of guys that won Super Bowls as well and all that stuff helps when you are trying to sell your staff. Tee is just another part of that."

On Tee and why he was the right man for the job ...

"One of the things that attracted me was how he handles and carries himself. I was down watching (UK signee) Raymond Sanders play and there were probably 25 coaches and myself down there right before we played Auburn. I feel like I am pretty big in knowing people down in Atlanta, but when Tee walked in the stadium it was like every little kid, coach and media outlet knew who Tee Martin was. It was at that moment that I knew he was the guy that we need to be looking into heavily to try to attract to come to Kentucky."

On if it was an easy sell to get him to come to Kentucky ...

"I don't know, you will have to ask him. I think that it really went through Randy (Sanders) more than anything. I did not want to be the front guy out there trying to get Tee because I thought that the guy that he trusted the most was Randy Sanders. I allowed Randy to recruit him and he knew how I felt based on the communication that we had while we were at that football game. I want a guy that when he walks into the room, the room lights up, and when he walks into the stadium everybody is attracted to him and that is what Tee Martin is."

On Tee being a huge name in certain areas that Joker wants to really recruit hard in ...

"He is huge wherever he goes and the reasons why are that he has won a national championship and he has traveled with the Nike camps and clinics. He is big for our program in general. He can get in a lot of homes and everybody asks how we are going to replace myself and I think that we have done better then Joker Phillips in the South because his name is still lingering because of his national championship that he won."

On Tee Martin having a street named after him ...

"I do now (talking about Joker having a street named after himself). Oh, Tee does? That is even better. Know what we have to do is make them take it down. You know how you make them take it down? You beat them. I got humbled on Saturday morning when I went to take my nephew to his basketball game and he said, `Uncle Joe, tell me where your street begins and ends.' I showed him where it begins and ends and as it ended he said, `You don't have any houses on your street.' I am sure that Tee Martin has some residence on his street."

On having Randy Sanders and Tee Martin both on the UK staff ...

"We have two winners. We have two guys that understand what it takes to win. The thing that they both are is great teachers and that is what you have to have. Obviously, Tee Martin, before he even arrives in a place, his name is going to speak for itself. Once he gets into a room it will certainly light up."

On how important it is to have a guy that lights up a room like that ...

"I have always thought that the first thing that you have to sell in recruiting is yourself. Before you can even step into the room and sell the university, the conference, the players or the staff you have to sell yourself and that is what Tee Martin does. He is a great salesman of himself before he even walks into the room everyone knows his name."

On Joker's relationship with Tee ...

"Our relationship started when Randy came here and he actually spoke to our offensive unit one time. I had cold chills listening to the guy talk. He understands what it takes to win and he excites me every time that I am around him. He was the perfect hire for us."

On if he looks better in blue then in orange ...

"I think that he does. I am sure that some people down in orange country would think differently but he is an addition for us. He is exactly what I was looking for. He is a guy that not only knows how to teach what we want to get taught but he can get into some homes that we want to get into."

Wide Receiver Coach Tee Martin

On how his hiring came about...

"I have a long-term friendship with Coach (Randy) Sanders. I met Coach (Joker) Phillips about three years ago on a recruiting trip. Since then he has been a coach I looked up to and he has done a great job here at Kentucky. I kept the relationship alive. I never thought the opportunity would come this quickly, but it did with the retirement of Coach (Rich) Brooks. It is a blessing that I am here and I am excited about it."

On what a former quarterback can bring to a wide receiver coaching position...

"That is the one position you can communicate with the most, the quarterback and the receiver. Over my career and my past four years of coaching I have been quarterback coach and passing game coordinator. This past year I was able to help with the wide receivers. I feel like I am more than ready to be a receiving coach. There is no better coach to come and learn from than Joker Phillips, who is one of the best in that game. I am trying to learn all I can from him and work as hard as I can."

On what it will be like to return to Neyland Stadium this season...

"I haven't really gotten emotionally tied to that experience yet. It is going to be different. I have never been on the opposing side of that field. I am not sure how it is going to feel but I am a Kentucky Wildcat. We are going to do our best to win every Saturday."

On hesitation in accepting the job at Kentucky...

"There was no hesitation whatsoever. To get the opportunity to work with Joker Phillips, a guy I have tremendous respect for in the football game, was a no-brainer. An opportunity to come back to the Southeastern Conference, where I am very familiar and comfortable, made it a very easy decision."

On how influential his credentials are on the recruiting class...

"I am from Mobile, Alabama, where I am very well-known. Of course I have some connections in Tennessee where I played. Now I have been living in Atlanta for 11 years. The reason I have been successful is from having the opportunity to work with Nike at several camps where I was able to meet so many coaches and players. I can now use the relationships I built to recruit players for this team."

On what wide receivers understand least about quarterbacks...

"The quarterback has problems that a receiver cannot see. The quarterback is facing the defense and most times the receivers have their backs turned to the defense. Sometimes the receiver cannot understand why the quarterback made a decision. It is not until they watch film that they are able to recognize that. I think what I bring to the table is that communication and understanding of the overall problems that the quarterbacks and receivers have. If we can do that I think we will be more efficient."

On the importance of the quarterbacks and receivers working together in the off-season...

"I always tell my players that a coach-driven team is a good team, but a player-driven team is a great team. The places I have been that have been successful have been programs where the players were the leaders. The coaches provide the vision, but the players get it done. Everywhere I have been the players are the ones getting things done. From what I hear, we are already off to a great start doing that here at Kentucky."