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11 things you might not know about Joker Phillips


We crammed plenty of information about the Browns' new wide receiver s coach, Joker Phillips, into our announcement earlier today, but there wasn't enough room for the finer details of his rise through the coaching ranks.

Here are the 11 facts we found most interesting about the latest addition to coach Mike Pettine's staff.

1) Phillips became the second-ever African-American head coach in SEC history when he was hired at Kentucky in 2010.

2) Interestingly, Phillips coached defensive backs at Cincinnati in 1998 and also had an internship with the Atlanta Falcons that same year focusing on the secondary.

3) When Phillips arrived at Notre Dame in 2001, he was replacing Urban Meyer as the wide receivers coach. Meyer left to start his illustrious head coaching career at Bowling Green.

4) Phillips used funny memes on Twitter and Instagram to help lure recruits while coaching for the Florida Gators. Read about it here.

5) Phillips is close friends with Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Watch a clip of the friends attending a Kentucky basketball game. Phillips also counts legendary coach Lou Holtz as a mentor.

Here's a connection: Browns offensive coordinator John DeFilippo's dad, Gene, was the associate athletic director at Kentucky while Phillips broke into the coaching ranks in 1988. Later, John would become a graduate assistant with Phillips at Notre Dame. In fact, Phillips has known John since he was a third grader.

7) Originally named Joe, Phillips was given the nickname "Joker" by his grandfather, to distinguish himself from his father Joe, Sr.

8) Phillips was an all-state quarterback and cornerback at Franklin-Simpson High School in Kentucky, and also played basketball and track.

9) Phillips cited a 2011 trip to Ethiopia as "life-changing." Read more here.

10) This will be Phillips' first-ever full-time NFL coaching gig.

11) Phillips told Home Magazine in Gainesville if he wasn't a coach, he'd like to be a barber.

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