Calipari seals lifetime deal to finish career at UK
Kentucky has agreed to a contract extension with head coach John Calipari that will see him finish out his career with the Wildcats, a school official told ESPN. The deal would be a combination of a head-coaching extension and a paid role as an ambassador after his retirement.
“We can confirm that the University of Kentucky has agreed to terms on a long-term contract with Coach Calipari to finish his career at Kentucky,” a school spokesperson said.
Calipari also confirmed the news on his radio show.
“It has nothing to do with the other stuff … people call every year,” he said. “They presented it to me and I appreciate it.”
“Where else would I want to coach?” he added.
Calipari, whose current contract at Kentucky runs through 2024, is the highest-paid basketball coach in the country, with total compensation of $9.2 million this year, according to the USA Today Sports database. He also receives a reported retention bonus of $2.6 million in each of the next three Julys.
Kentucky went 30-7 this season, earning a 2-seed in the NCAA tournament and advancing to the Elite Eight before losing to Auburn 77-71 on Sunday.
Calipari has been to four Final Fours with Kentucky, in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2015, winning the national championship in 2012. The loss to Auburn marked the third season in a row the Wildcats have advanced to the second weekend of the NCAA tournament but fallen short of the Final Four.
Calipari, 60, has a 305-71 record at Kentucky and official lifetime record of 708-209. He has led his teams to the NCAA tournament 20 times in 27 seasons, with four official Final Fours and one title.
Calipari has twice taken teams to the Final Four only to have the wins vacated by the NCAA. His 2007-08 Memphis team, which lost to Kansas in the title game, was forced to vacate all 38 wins from the season, including five NCAA tournament wins, because star player Derrick Rose’s SAT scores were invalidated. Calipari’s UMass team’s Final Four appearance in 1996 was erased after it was determined star player Marcus Camby had accepted money from two sports agents.
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