His players have a penchant for leaving after just one season, but John Calipari will be sticking around in Lexington for the foreseeable future.
The Kentucky Wildcats men’s basketball coach made sure of that on Thursday when he signed a seven-year contract extension worth $52.5 million in guaranteed money. The deal will make Calipari the second highest-paid coach in college basketball behind Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski.
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Calipari’s future at Kentucky wasn’t always crystal-clear, as rumors surfaced in April that the 55-year-old could take over as the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers. Those rumors were swiftly denied by the Lakers, who have yet to hire a new head coach.
Calipari has excelled in many ways since coming to Lexington from Memphis in 2009. Calipari’s Wildcats won the NCAA championship in 2012 and have reached the Final Four in three of the last five seasons after falling to the University of Connecticut in this year’s NCAA championship game.
Kentucky has also produced a whopping 10 freshman first-round NBA draft picks since 2010, by far the most in college basketball.
The deal locks in Calipari through the 2020-2021 season.