John Calipari Agrees to New Kentucky Contract to Cover Rest of Career

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistApril 1, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - MARCH 29: Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats reacts against the Houston Cougars during the 2019 NCAA Basketball Tournament Midwest Regional at Sprint Center on March 29, 2019 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Kentucky and head coach John Calipari agreed to a new long-term contract Monday that will ensure he finishes his coaching career in Lexington.

"It has nothing to do with the other stuff. ... People call every year," Calipari said on his radio show. "They presented it to me, and I appreciate it."

This comes in response to UCLA's offer of a six-year, $48 million deal, according to Seth Davis of The Athletic.

The new contract will include a 10-year deal as Kentucky's head coach plus the opportunity to serve as a "paid ambassador" after his retirement, per Davis.

Calipari is already the highest-paid coach in college basketball, reportedly making $9.2 million this season, and his current contract runs through 2024. However, the newest deal could give him even more security beyond his coaching days.

The 60-year-old reportedly had "extensive" contact with UCLA but decided he wanted to stay with Kentucky.

Kentucky is coming off a loss in the Elite Eight in Calipari's 10th season with the program. In that span, he has a 305-71 record, four Final Four appearances and one national championship.

Although he has now gone four years without reaching the Final Four, he seems happy in Lexington, and the school clearly loves him.

While his name is often attached to NBA rumors, Calipari continues to deny any interest in moving to the pro level.

"I'm at Kentucky having a ball preparing young people for the rest of their life," he said in January on ESPN's Get Up!, via Adam Zagoria of Zagsblog.

Meanwhile, UCLA will continue to hunt for a big name to turn things around after a disappointing 17-16 season. The Bruins have 11 national championships in their history but haven't advanced beyond the Sweet 16 since 2008.

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