UK release: Calipari agrees to contract extension

Here is the official release from UK on John Calipari’s contract extension:

June 27, 2011

Calipari Signs Contract Extension

Rewarded with an eight-year contract after UK’s first Final Four appearance in 13 years

LEXINGTON, Ky. – University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari, who led the Wildcats to the school’s 14th NCAA Final Four appearance last season, has been rewarded with an eight-year contract worth a total of $36.5 million plus the opportunity for performance-based incentives, UK Director of Athletics Mitch Barnhart announced Monday. See attachments for the actual contract which includes an amendment to the previous agreement along with details of the eight-year deal.

“What John Calipari has done on and off the court in the past two years to reunite and rejuvenate this fan base has been magical,” Barnhart said. “He understands the responsibility that goes along with this position and there is no other coach out there that is a better fit for the best basketball program in the country.”

“Cal and I are the same age and share some of the same thoughts on our careers and I wanted to align his contract with my current eight-year deal. He worked with us during this process and clearly demonstrated that he wants to be at Kentucky for a long time. We evened out his yearly compensation without adding to his base salary. We were able to move some longevity bonuses around that were already in the contract, and added some longevity bonuses in the later years of his contract to demonstrate that we want him here for a long time. We also agreed to restructure the bonus money in a fair format where success dictates the bonuses. If we reach the levels of success for Cal to receive these bonuses, we will certainly generate the revenue necessary to allocate these funds.”

“Coach Calipari has led a remarkable turnaround of our basketball program, bringing it back to unquestioned national prominence and in a position to compete for championships on a regular basis,” UK President Dr. Lee T. Todd, Jr. said. “Aligning his contract with that of Mitch Barnhart creates the potential for long-term continuity in an athletics program that is performing and winning both on the court and in the classroom.”

In two seasons, Calipari has led the Wildcats to a 64-12 (.889) overall mark, including UK’s first Final Four appearance in 13 years last season. Calipari became only the second coach in NCAA history to lead three different schools to the Final Four. Boasting a perfect 33-0 home record in two years at Rupp Arena, he also led Kentucky to its second straight Southeastern Conference Tournament title. Calipari’s teams have also showed remarkable improvement off the court, sporting a 3.14 grade-point average in the spring 2011 semester with nine players at a 3.0 GPA or better. Kentucky also tied for the highest Academic Progress Rate (974) among men’s basketball teams in the SEC. All four draft-eligible players were selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, giving Kentucky an unprecedented nine draft picks over the last two seasons. Calipari also received an Emmy nomination for his role in creating “Hoops for Haiti” during his first season which raised over $1.5 million for the people of Haiti.

In his inaugural season as head coach at Kentucky, Calipari posted his fifth-straight 30-win season, the only coach in NCAA Division I history to do so. He became the first coach in UK history to receive the Adolph Rupp National Coach of the Year award and is one of only two coaches to earn multiple Naismith National Coach of the Year honors. He was also named the Associated Press SEC Coach of the Year after winning the program’s 44th SEC Championship and 26th SEC Tournament title. When he led Kentucky back to the No. 1 spot in the country, Calipari became one of only two coaches in NCAA history to lead three teams to a No. 1 ranking. He then watched as five of his players were selected in the first round of the 2010 NBA Draft, the first time a school has ever produced five first-round picks. Among those picks was the first Wildcat ever taken as the No. 1 overall selection, John Wall.

“I’d like to thank Dr. Todd and Mitch for this great opportunity and the Big Blue Nation for their unbelievable support,” UK head basketball coach John Calipari said. “Ellen and I have tried to be good stewards with the blessings we have received and will continue to invest in the Commonwealth and the Lexington community. The people of Kentucky have embraced our family as one of their own and we love being here and there is no other place we’d rather be. Our fans are the best in all of sports and even though you’re crazy, we love it.”


For more information contact:

DeWayne Peevy ( – 859-257-3838

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