Arkansas Welcomes Former Kentucky Head Coach John Calipari

Coach Cal

John Calipari is going to need to trade that royal blue for red.

After a less-than-stellar session with 14-seed Oakland pushing the Kentucky Wildcats out of the NCAA tournament, plenty of fans were ready for Calipari to find a new home so the team could reclaim its blue-blood royalty.

While Calipari has a majority winning streak with the school, in recent years, the team that is used to winning has found itself on the other side of the bench. Because of his insane contract with the school, though, Kentucky fans were stuck with Calipari unless he chose to leave on his terms. Calipari would have made $34 million if Kentucky had decided to part ways with him, but if he left on his own to take another job, the university would owe him nothing.

After negotiation rumors of him with Arkansas started swirling, fans who wanted him gone after the Oakland game were hopeful they’d get their wish. Rumors ended up being true when Calipari took to social media yesterday (Tuesday), noting that he was stepping down as the Wildcats’ head coach.

“The last few weeks, we’ve come to realize that this program probably needs to hear another voice. That the university as a whole has to have another voice giving guidance about this program.

And the fans need to hear another voice. We’ve loved it here, but we think it’s time for us to step away.”

And today, the rumors of his negotiation with Arkansas ended up being true as the Razorbacks publicly welcomed John Calipari to Fayetteville.

“By all accounts, John Calipari is one of the premier coaches in college basketball.

As I visited with Coach Calipari during this process, he acknowledged the tremendous opportunity we have at the University of Arkansas to attract and retain top players and compete for championships. He understands the deep passion of the Razorback Nation and has experienced the tremendous home-court advantage of Bud Walton Arena.”

Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek said per the school’s official statement.

The New York Post reported that Arkansas signed him to a five-year contract with a base salary of $7 million per season. The deal is valued at $38.5 million and could potentially hit $60 million over seven seasons. The salary is actually a pay cut compared to his Kentucky salary, but he has a pretty sweet bonus structure.

While Kentucky fans were not thrilled with the ending to Calipari’s run with the Wildcats, it is important to note his astonishing record while at the university. He led the Wildcats to a 410-123 record.

Maybe a change of scenery will be good for Calipari and he will get back to his winning record with the Hogs.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock