Monday, March 30, 2009

Kentucky's 7th Head Basketball Coach: John Calipari

If all media reports and indications are to be believed, welcome John Calipari as the 7th head coach of the University of Kentucky Wildcats basketball program.

The reported off is $40 million over six years, an NCAA-record $6.67 million per anum.

Here's the latest from Rick Bozich:
All systems remain go on bringing John Calipari from Memphis to Kentucky as the Wildcats' new basketball coach. Folks from UK did indeed have a productive 3 1/2 hour meeting with Calipari yesterday.

Word is that Kentucky has received an all-clear from the NCAA as well as from the Southeastern Conference to hire Calipari, if an agreement can be reached. The two sides are still negotiating.

I've been told the earliest a new coach will be announced is tomorrow -- and it might be Wednesday or Thursday.
However, WHAS-11 has reported it to be official:
WHAS11 News has learned that Memphis coach, John Calipari, has decided to take the offer to be the new University of Kentucky basketball coach.

Calipari just concluded his ninth season at Memphis and has a 137-14 record over the past four seasons in which the Tigers were the only team to earn either a No. 1 or 2 seed in the NCAA tournament. He guided Memphis to a national runner-up finish last season, and the Tigers (33-4) were ousted in the West Regional semifinal on Thursday night.

He currently has the top-rated recruiting class in the country headed to Memphis, but his latest recruit 6-foot-10 DeMarcus Cousins committed verbally within the past month and could follow Calipari to Kentucky if the coach leaves.

Landing Calipari won't be cheap. He has four years left on his contract paying him $2.35 million annually. He also has an annuity averaging $1 million over the deal through 2013.

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