Former Kentucky Wildcats guard Brad Calipari, head coach John Calipari’s son, will join the men’s basketball staff as a graduate assistant coach for the upcoming 2021-22 season, the school announced Thursday.
As a grad assistant, Brad will be involved in all on-court activities with the Wildcats including practices, individual workouts and film sessions. He will also play an integral role with the staff in the development of practice plans and advanced scouting of upcoming opponents.
“I am extremely excited and honored to begin my coaching career at the University of Kentucky,” Brad said. “I would like to thank everyone who has supported me along the way, as I continue to chase my ultimate dream of one day becoming a head coach.
“I already lived one of my dreams in being able to suit up for the greatest fans in the country in the BBN, but now coaching!? Wow. The path basketball has taken me has been an incredible one so far individually, but the opportunity to be a part of helping a player change his and his family’s life is my motivation. I’ve had a first-hand chance to see what Kentucky can do for players and their families and I promise to do all that I can to help each one of them achieve their dreams.
“I do not take this opportunity lightly and appreciate the chance to begin my coaching career at the mecca of college basketball. I’m eager to learn from our tremendous staff led by an OK coach. LOL. Not a Hall of Famer or anything.”
Kyle Tucker of The Athletic reports that former walk-on Riley Welch will remain with the program in a similar role.
Kentucky officially announces Brad Calipari as a grad assistant. I believe fellow former walk-on (and author of the most popular UK story @TheAthletic this year) Riley Welch is also staying on board in the same capacity.— Kyle Tucker (@KyleTucker_ATH) August 26, 2021
The younger Calipari played for the Wildcats from 2017-19 and was a part of a program that won 88 games, advanced to the Elite Eight twice, won an SEC regular-season championship and two SEC Tournament titles. He finished his collegiate career at Detroit Mercy where he saw action in 33 games over two seasons for the Titans.
During the 2019-20 season, Calipari averaged 6.1 points per game and hit 51 triples.
A 2019 graduate of Kentucky with a degree in communication, Calipari earned his undergraduate degree in three years. He was a two-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member. At Detroit Mercy he completed a master’s degree in liberal studies in May of 2021. Calipari was a Detroit Mercy Athletic Director’s Honor Roll member and a Horizon League Spring Academic Honor Roll selection.
Calipari will now pursue a master’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport leadership.