John Calipari, Kentucky sign $52.5-million contract extension


Unlike many of his one-and-done freshmen, Kentucky Coach John Calipari isn’t going anywhere for a long time, signing a seven-year, $52.5-million contract extension Thursday with the university.

Under the contract that runs through the 2020-21 season, Calipari next season is set to earn $6.5 million in base salary, which will incrementally rise to $8 million a year for his final three years.

“We want to continue to help young people and their families reach their dreams, while at the same time maintaining our success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community,” Calipari said, according to the Associated Press.


Kentucky was defeated by Connecticut in the national championship game in April, but Calipari’s teams have consistently been contenders loaded with top NBA draft picks, including power forward Julius Randle, who is expected to continue that tradition later this month after playing only one year in college.

Since 2009, when Calipari took over the Wildcats basketball program from Billy Gillispie, Kentucky has seen 13 NBA first-round draft picks -- 17 total -- wear blue and white in Rupp Arena.

That figure includes two No. 1 overall picks: John Wall in 2009, to Washington and Anthony Davis in 2012, to New Orleans.

Since making Calipari its coach, Kentucky has enjoyed two trips to the national championship game, winning in 2012, as well as a Final Four and an Elite Eight appearance with primarily freshmen teams.

The only blemish on his record came during the 2012-13 season, when the reigning national champion Wildcats were defeated by Robert Morris in the first round of the National Invitation Tournament.

Calipari is one of only two coaches to lead three different teams to the Final Four, although Massachusetts’ appearance in 1996 and Memphis’ 2008 run were later vacated because of controversies involving Marcus Camby and Derrick Rose.

The other coach, Rick Pitino, guided Kentucky to its sixth national championship in 1996. Pitino also got Providence and Louisville to the Final Four.