Every year John Calipari’s name comes up in coaching rumors at the college and NBA level, but since the 2009-10 season he’s remained with Kentucky.
Calipari is among the best recruiters in the country, but that often overshadows how good he is as an actual coach on the floor, which is why he’s often floated for potential NBA openings. Most recently, however, he was connected to the UCLA coaching job where he reportedly had at least some interest in the Bruins.
However, on Monday, he decided to stick with the Cats and ink a lifetime deal with the school to be their basketball coach until he chooses to retire. Calipari announced his decision on his radio show, with Jeff Goodman of Stadium confirming this wasn’t an elaborate April Fool’s prank, but a real deal that had been agreed to.
Theoretically, this keeps Cal in Lexington for the foreseeable future, but the rumors will persist because in coaching, contracts only serve as stability for the coach and secure a buyout for the school should he leave. We don’t know what the buyout in this new deal is but one would assume it’s pretty hefty if he’s been given an open-ended deal in terms of years.
As for the UCLA rumors, the Bruins apparently never had much of a chance because of the money they were capable of offering was nowhere near that of Kentucky per multiple reports, and they served as little more than leverage for Cal to get this offer from Kentucky.