The Kentucky Wildcats are trying to lock down their head man in charge, John Calipari, with a lifetime contract, according to Seth Davis of The Athletic.
“The new contract would include a 10-year term as coach plus a promise to serve as a paid ambassador for the school after his retirement. Calipari’s current contract runs through 2024, after an extension in 2017.”
There were rumblings before the first NCAA tournament game for the Wildcats that Calipari and the UCLA Bruins were having serious conversations about the head coaching vacancy, but Cal quickly shut those down when the Big Blue Nation started worrying.
Before I go to bed, let me just say this: I’m coaching at the Univ. of Kentucky. In my opinion, there is no better job in the world to coach basketball. My plan and my desire is to retire at Kentucky. I think the university feels the same as I do and we’ve talked openly about it.— John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) March 21, 2019
Kentucky wanted to make sure that UCLA had no chance of a counter-offer with this lifetime deal being placed on the table, and making sure that Cal spends the rest of his coaching career in Lexington.
It appears that UCLA was still making a charge for Calipari despite Cal’s, and the administrations, wishes to stay head coach at Kentucky until he retires.
I would note that this might be a major moment for Kentucky basketball. I believe Calipari wants to feel that the university and fan base truly wants and appreciates what he has done in a decade here. If he feels that, he'll happily retire here. But he wonders. https://t.co/DGTRzFmXU5— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) April 1, 2019
This also comes out the week that Calipari is looking to begin the round up to his recruiting class for the 2019 season by hosting Bucknell Bison forward Nate Sestina for a visit.
Kentucky commit Kahlil Whitney also had some input about the lifetime contract:
I bet y’all stop the rumors now— THE DRAGON (@KahlilWhitney) April 1, 2019