In an appearance on The Herd, college hoops analyst Doug Gottlieb and 247 recruiting director Evan Daniels talked about John Calipari’s interest in UCLA:
There seems to be a great deal of buzz out west about John Calipari and the UCLA Bruins’ head-coaching vacancy.
After firing Steve Alford earlier this season, the Bruins have apparently been casting a wide net in hopes of landing a big fish in their coaching search.
Every few years, Calipari’s name comes up in a coaching search. However, up to these point they have all been for NBA teams. He famously almost left in 2014 for the Cleveland Cavaliers before the Harrison twins announced their return to the Kentucky Wildcats.
Leaving for another college job would be a hard pill for Big Blue Nation to follow. UCLA is one of the only programs in college that can compete with the history of Kentucky Basketball, and it is reported that Los Angeles life is something that has always tempted Coach Cal.
How much meat is there to this story?
According to Tracy Pierson of 247Sports, there are reports of Calipari having “serious interest” in the job.
According to various sources, the Hall of Fame coach is showing what some have described as “serious interest” in coming to Westwood.
It’s known that Calipari has always liked the UCLA job, loving Los Angeles and the lifestyle.
UCLA, in doing its due diligence since firing Steve Alford on New Year’s Eve in December, has had time to kick the tires on all the big-named coaches in the game to gauge interest. Calipari was one who seriously reciprocated.
Of course, there is speculation that this interest could be a leverage move for Calipari to get even more money/power in Lexington, but is that really something the highest paid coach in the land would do?
I would take these rumors with a grain of salt, as I never imagined that Calipari would leave Kentucky for another collegiate coaching gig. But as we have seen in the past, with this much smoke there may just be a little bit of fire.