John Calipari inks 7-year, $52.5M deal
Kentucky has signed men's basketball coach John Calipari to a new seven-year deal worth $52.5 million guaranteed, the school announced Thursday.
Calipari led the Wildcats to the school's 16th Final Four appearance this past season.
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Calipari will receive a package of $6.5 million next season, $7 million in 2015-16, $7.25 million in 2016-17, $7.75 million in 2017-18, and $8 million each of the final three seasons.
He will make a base salary of $400,000 per year through 2020-21, but will make millions more annually in endorsements and retention bonuses. For example, his guaranteed compensation for 2014-15 includes the base salary of $400,000, a retention bonus of $1.6 million and media/endorsements of $4.5 million.
Calipari took to Twitter after the deal was announced Thursday:
I've said over and over that I have the best job in the country.- John Calipari (@UKCoachCalipari) June 5, 2014
Already one of college basketball's highest-paid coaches, Calipari led the Wildcats to the 2012 NCAA championship and is coming off his third Final Four appearance in five years with Kentucky, a 60-54 title-game loss to Connecticut in April. He often has been rumored as a potential candidate for NBA head-coaching openings, most recently this spring with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Calipari reiterated at that time his happiness with Kentucky, later using social media to state his commitment after Los Angeles fired coach Mike D'Antoni.
One of the reasons John Calipari is getting paid at Kentucky is his ability to bring top recruits into Lexington. Since 2010, Kentucky has had the most freshman drafted in the first round of the NBA Draft, and it isn't even close:
|School||1st Rd picks|
|*Entering 2014 NBA draft|
ESPN Stats & Information
He continued that theme with his new contract that pays more than most pro coaches receive.
"With the continued support from our administration and the greatest, craziest, fans in college basketball, we have accomplished a lot in our five quick years, but we still have lofty goals for the future," Calipari said in a release Thursday.
"We want to continue to help young people and their families reach their dreams, while at the same time maintaining our success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community."
Besides building a 152-37 record at Kentucky, Calipari has established himself as a master recruiter in landing top-three freshman classes annually. That includes next season's group, which figures to make the Wildcats a title contender again. And with this contract, the school appears to have locked him in for the long term.
"It has long been our goal over the last three to five years that Cal enjoy this as his final stop in coaching," athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in the release, "and that he has an opportunity to finish his career at the University of Kentucky and hopefully set standards and win championships that will be remembered for many, many years to come."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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