Calipari, Kentucky Agree to Contract Extension
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- University of Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari, who just led the Wildcats to their fourth Final Four in the last five seasons, has signed a new seven-year contract with the school that will keep him at UK through the 2021-22 season.
Calipari signed the new contract on May 13. See attachment for the actual contract, which includes an amendment to the previous agreement along with details of the seven-year deal.
"I've said it before and I'll say it again: John is the best coach in the game," UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart said. "Our historic run this season proved it, but this extension is about so much more than that. John and Ellen have become part of the fabric of our athletics family, this university and this state and we're thankful they will be here with us for years to come."
Calipari's new deal spans seven years. At the completion of the contract, he will tie Joe B. Hall for the second-longest tenure as head coach in school history.
Calipari is fresh off leading UK to its fourth Final Four in the last five seasons, becoming just the third coach (John Wooden and Mike Krzyzewski) to accomplish that feat. In six seasons at Kentucky, Calipari has led the Wildcats to a 190-38 record (.833 winning percentage), the best record of any UK coach through the first 228 games of their careers.
The newly announced Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Famer is coming off one of the best seasons in the history of college basketball. The Wildcats became the first team to start the season with a 38-0 record, tying two of Calipari's other teams (UK in 2012 and Memphis in 2008) for the most wins in NCAA history.
In guiding UK to a perfect regular season, its 46th Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and 28th SEC Tournament title, Calipari was awarded national coach of the year honors by the Atlanta Tipoff Club (Naismith), the Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky (Adolph Rupp Cup), the Associated Press, the National Association of Basketball Coaches and Sporting News, among others.
In his 23 seasons as a college head coach, Calipari has guided six teams to the Final Four. Included in Calipari's success at Kentucky are five Elite Eight appearances, four Final Fours, two national championship games and the 2012 national title.
Under Calipari's tutelage, 19 Wildcats have been selected in the NBA Draft in five seasons, including 15 in the opening round, two No. 1 overall selections, five top-five picks and nine lottery selections. Overall, Calipari has produced 30 NBA Draft picks in his career and is the only coach with three No. 1 overall picks. Seven more players are expected to be drafted at the 2015 NBA Draft at the end of June.
Calipari has guided UK to three regular-season SEC championships, three SEC Tournament titles and has comprised 21 straight on-court 20-win seasons, the longest active streak in Division I. This past season he became the 13th active Division I coach with 600 or more on-court victories. Overall, the Pennsylvania native has won 13 regular-season conference championships, 12 conference tournament titles and has been named the coach of the year in his respective conference nine times in his decorated career.
Among Calipari's most notable career achievements are nine 30-win seasons, including five straight from 2006 to 2010. He's the only coach in NCAA Division I history to achieve that feat. The 56-year-old has won three Naismith Coach of the Year honors (1996, 2008 and 2015) and been named a Naismith finalist four other times.
Since the 2005-06 season, Calipari has the best winning percentage among all Division I coaches. His NCAA Tournament record of 47-15 (.758) is the second-highest winning percentage among active coaches, his six Final Four appearances are tied for the fifth most by a coach all-time, and his 11 straight NCAA Tournament wins prior to the 2014 national championship loss represented the longest winning streak in the tournament since the Florida Gators won 12 straight in 2006 and 2007.
Just this past April, Calipari was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, considered to be one of the ultimate career achievements in the sport. He will be the 96th coach inducted into the Hall of Fame in September in Springfield, Mass.
Calipari's teams have showed remarkable success off the court as well. In seven of the last nine semesters, his team has achieved a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher.
In addition, the men's basketball team earned an NCAA award Wednesday for finishing in the top 10 percent of its sports in the Academic Progress Rate, a four-year composite score that measures eligibility, retention and graduation. All 14 players who have been eligible to graduate by the end of their senior years at Kentucky in the Calipari era have walked away with a degree in hand, including three players (Patrick Patterson, Jarrod Polson and Alex Poythress) who graduated in just three years.
Calipari's foundation, The Calipari Foundation, has raised millions of dollars to help the lives of those in need in the Commonwealth and across the country, and in 2010, he used a telethon to raise more than $1 million for victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. He followed that up with another telethon in 2012 that raised $1 million for victims of Superstorm Sandy that ravaged the New England coast.
A year after helping raise $350,000 for charity during the inaugural UK men's basketball alumni weekend, Calipari was the driving force behind the more than $1 million that was donated to local and national organizations during the second annual alumni weekend. Despite the absence of the alumni game -- a large generation of the alumni weekend funds -- in 2014, he and his basketball experience matched the $1 million for the following year.
His foundation has also worked with and donated money to Samaritan's Feet, the West Liberty Recovery Fund, 4 Paws for Ability, the Starkey Hearing Foundation, the Urban League of Lexington and the V Foundation. Calipari has also headed up the EverFi Financial Literacy Program, which teaches students across Kentucky the importance of money management.
UK has hauled in a consensus top-three class in every season Calipari has been at the helm. This year's class, ranked top three by the major recruiting services, will join six scholarship players from the 2015 Final Four team.