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John Calipari on UK: “Where else would I want to coach?

John Calipari talked to Laura Rutledge after UK won last year’s SEC Tournament. (Jeff Houchin Photo)

By LARRY VAUGHT

While some Kentucky fans were contemplating John Calipari’s “lack of success” for only winning 305 games and one national championship in 10 years and getting to just four Final Fours and seven Elight Eights, Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart was busy making sure that Calipari ends his coaching career at Kentucky.

Several weeks ago rumors broke that UCLA was pursuing Calipari for the job that has been vacant since Steve Alford was fired during the season. Calipari apparently even talked with UCLA officials before telling them no thanks — as one might have expected.

Early this afternoon several media outlets reported that Calipari had signed a new contract at UK and Kentucky officials confirmed that Monday night before Calipari went on his weekly radio show and also confirmed the news. He said he had been talking with UK officials for some time about the extension.

He said this deal had nothing to do with the UCLA rumors/talks.

“Every year that I’m here, something at the end of the year happens. Someone’s trying to call or talk,” Calipari said on the radio show while talking to Tom Leach. “You think of what we’ve built, the culture that we’ve built. We’ve done it all kind of different ways. We’ve got good kids.

“The academics, that we’re allowed to give lifetime scholarships. We’re allowed to bring these kids back.  We insure these kid. This is a situation and a culture that’s taken time to build. Where else would I want to coach?”

The better question probably would be why would UK fans want any other coach to lead the program after all he’s done.

His contract was extended two years ago to run through the 2023-24 season with a salary of about $8 million annually. Now he’s reportedly getting six more years on the contract for another $50 million.

Kentucky has not issued a formal announcement of the contract extension and there was nothing on the UK athletics website. However, Calipari’s daughter, Megan, couldn’t help poking back at some of the fans that had blistering her dad since Sunday’s Elite Eight loss to Auburn.

“Lol you’re stuck with us for LIFEEEEE,” she tweeted.

And from the reaction of most UK fans to the news, that is a good thing.

16 comments

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  1. First of all yes I have been critical of Cal at times, but not to a point want to get rid of him like some sore loser cats fans wants. I’m all for this to keep Cal here. The only thing I’m worry about is it going cost us the cats fan base more to attend Rupp arena in order to paid his fat contract. Theres going have to be a fine line at some point to put a stop on all this mega contracts on coaches and players in all sports in order for fans to be able afford to attend the sports events I’m afraid in the long haul it’s going to hunt all sports when people stop going and start seeing half empty stadiums and arenas in all sports.

  2. Woo Hoo !!!!!! Now maybe the Negative Neely’s will take a chill pill. I would also like to take this time to point out the irony of not liking the OAD system while belittling players that need time to reach their true potential. If a five star guy takes till his junior or senior season to be a steady contributor, isn’t that what you guys want. No need to take 3 star guys to coach up for 4 years when you can coach up 5 star guys. Not all 5 star guys are one OAD. Thanks Cal for staying. See you at BBM camp out this years just like the last 10 and hope for 10 more!!!!!

  3. Be careful what you ask for…you might get it. With Calapari, sweet 16’s, and elite 8’s are going to be the norm. I don’t see us winning another national title and maybe one more final four in the next 5 years, and then I think he will hang it up. Sure, we will have some 25 win seasons, but there will also be at least one more 10+ loss season. He will continue to get out recruited by Coach K as long as Coach K is around. He will continue to go after OAD’s or whatever is left that Duke doesn’t want. He will continue to say his teams are too young, don’t know how to play, and will lose more early Big games than win. Expect at least one loss to an average team in pre-conference schedules and at least one loss to middle of the pack teams in the SEC. We will not catch UCLA in national titles, could possibly lose our standing as the winningest team ever, and might even have Duke or North Carolina nipping at our heels in national titles. I love KY basketball but do not like Calipari. When he finally leaves, BBN will be in such an uproar over the lack of another national title that nobody in their right mind will want to follow him. I know this will infuriate all of the Rah Rah’s here, but that’s ok. Let’s visit this subject again in 5 years and see where we are. Go Big Blue! RahRah Rah!

    1. Catmandoo1000, I will officially begin to refer to you as Dukemandoo1000. Why, because You are obsessed with the “Chief Blue Devil” old Coach “K.” You have easily earned the title. You need serious help my man.

  4. I have to admit that I am not crazy about the OAD system that Cal uses. I much prefer several upper classmen and then 1 or 2 OAD to fill in where the others are lacking.
    Having said that, I cannot think of another coach I would take over Cal; not even Izzo, Coach K, R Williams, etc.
    Much rather have this system than what we had with Tubby or Billy G.

    1. The problem generally with his OAD IMO is that he wants to sign a new group every year. That is why a bunch of freshmen start every year. Cal appears to want as many of his players as possible to head off to the NBA after their freshmen year. There are only so many free rides to pass out, right? Only so many players NBA ready out of HS or AAU ball, even from the 5 star ranks. I sure don’t see many of his current team ready for the NBA…. yet. Some will probably transfer like Matthews, and Green did, to make room for incoming NBA hopefuls. As for me, I hope they all come back. If that were to happen next year with this team, UK would be battle tested and tough to beat. Dues would be paid by opposing teams, maybe. But then what do you do with his 2019 class of stars currently inbound. His OAD system is a constant feeding of the beast he has created. That said, only the crazies want Coach Cal to leave UK. I will take Cal until he is ready to climb in his rocking chair and relax for good. He has earned his keep. I don’t see many out there that could even carry his water. ” Dukemandoo1000″ can say what he wants, but nobody has out recruited Calipari in his 10 year span as far as sending talent to the NBA. Nobody.

      1. Pup….I really don’t care how many guys Cal sends to the NBA or what he has done over a 10 yr span. I am part of the…..”what have you done for me lately” and K has kicked his butt last couple with Top 5 guys.

        1. Mike you must be joined at the hip to “Dukemandoo1000.” Are you two brothers? You both are just mad because Calipari is here to stay. Go Cats!!!! You and your brother go root on Duke and Coach K will you? They could use a couple loyal fans like you two. Hornet1 got it right concerning your hero, Coach “K”. Read his post below. The mighty Duke team is now sitting at home just like UK is. And even with Zion Williamson. How did that happen? You been popping off about ZW all year long. MSU has Coach “K’s” number. UK has more national titles than Duke. Duke did whip the Cats this year, it hurt too. But UK get em back real soon. And Calipari will add No. 9 real soon. Mark it down.

            • Mike on April 2, 2019 at 9:07 pm

            Pup…..you do get very old with your constant chatter and repetition. You and I both know Catmandoo really has your number. How can you be so delusional to think Cal will post #9 real soon? I get it and your right….both EJ and Nick will rise to the occasion.

  5. Pup, you are living in the past. Coach K has clearly out recruited Calipari for the last 3 years and will continue to do so as long as he coaches. Williams and Izzo will be getting better players too. Its clear that Bigs have shunned KY over the past 3 years, as will be evidenced again this year and the years to come. Its also clear that Barnes, Pearl, and White are getting more out of their lesser rated recruits and have ended the days of the SEC being KY’s scrimmage league. Pup, cry and cuss all you want, but Calipari will not keep KY atop of the all-time wins list if he stays another 5 years, will not catch much less pass UCLA in national titles even if he stays another 15 years, and will struggle to win the regular season SEC title in the years to come, will do well to win 30% of the remaining SEC tournaments that he coaches in. Whine until pigs fly, but history will show that I much closer to being right about this than wrong. RAH RAH RAH!!!

    1. Whatever “Dukemandoo1000” there will be a day we can all compare notes on Calipari and his record because he is here for the long haul. You must be excited about that. I look for UK to win the national championship in 2019-20. Go ahead and trash Coach and this program. Most UK fans and some on here don’t agree with much of what you rant day in day out anyway. This is a UK support site, you need to get on Duke’s support site if they have one. Like I say, we’ll see. Keep pumping out your BS. I just get a good laugh.

    2. DUKEMANDOO100. You need to read your own stuff. Cal has won an average of 30 games a year. Talk about live in the past you yearn for the days of coaches owning the life and career of players to their detriment and the gain of the university. What a joke. You and all who think like you are dinosaurs and we know how that worked out. Must be painful to watch life passing you by while you pine for the good ole days. LOL. You and Dooped by Stoops deserve each other. Just go look back and see how many post are dominated by you two agreeing with each other. LOL. You are the minority among the BBN but you have the right to say what you will. Just like most internet trolls and bullies. But it doesn’t make you right. RAH RAH RAH.

      But if you are truly a UK fan then come join me at the BBM Camp out that I have attended for the last 13 years straight and talk to the people there. Come see how we feel and why. Just give it a chance. Come spend one single day with me and I believe you might see thing differently. Not sure why you feel the way you do but I am ready willing and able to show you why WE feel the way WE do. This is an OPEN INVITATION to all negative Nelly’s on this site

      Come spend a day with us. Give it a try. I promise it won’t hurt.

      GO BLUE OR STAY HOME

      This offer includes you Mike! ! LOL

  6. Cal is a good salesman for the university, and I wouldn’t want to see him go, but I also don’t believe we have as much protection of him staying lifetime as we are being led to believe. He also spreads a lot of BS. Yesterday he made the comment that we haven’t had problems with turnovers this year, and we have been a turnover machine! Has he been watching the same team that we have?

  7. First of all, I’m sick and tired of hearing all the accolades heaped out on Krzyshitski year after year. He’s absolutely not as good as advertised. He has been coddled and messaged by the media for years I’m sick of it. He absolutely dropped the coaching ball during the game with MSU. Tom Izzo out coached him at every level .

    As for Calipari, I have been critical of him at times and I most definitely do feel that he has failed to live up to the hype that he and the university fed to the fans when he arrived at UK. However, I don’t see anyone out there who could have done any better than what he has done in order to revive a program that was taking on water like the Titanic when he arrived.

    Frankly, I think UK’s recruiting efforts took a big hit when Orlando Antigua left the program. Hopefully, one day soon, Cal will find another recruiter with his Antigua’s charisma and expertise.

    GO BIG BLUE !!!

  8. All of you cry babies wouldn’t be so upset if what I was saying wasn’t true. I had high hopes for Calipari when he first came to KY, but he has blown 3 national titles and doesn’t have the coach acumen to win it all anymore. I love KY, I just don’t think much of him. So cry, whine, cuss, and spit but it won’t change anything. Calipari is a one trick pony that has sold KY nothing but smoke and mirrors with this OAD stuff.

    1. You give your self far to much credit Dukemandoo1000. The only cry babies I see are you and your brother Mike. Do you all have season tickets at Cameron Indoor? Nobody else much on VV’s whines and complains about UK basketball like you two geniuses. Are either one of you related to Dick Vitale? After a run to the Elite 8 again this season after a shaky start UK rises to the top again. Another successful season in the record books, and Cal will be here to get er done again next year. Rah Rah Rah!! Just great young men and great coaching is all I see. UK is the greatest program, with the greatest coach in America. Go ahead and keep digging this hole you two have dug for yourselves here on VV’s. Real UK fans have your number.

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