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Cal tells ESPN the Magazine that he’ll be at UK another 6 or 7 years

In an interview with ESPN the Magazine, Cal opened up to Andy Katz about his time in Lexington and how the job has changed him. Most of the interview is stuff we’ve heard before, but here are a few interesting tidbits:

— Cal said that while he was “waiting on a phone call” for the Kentucky job in 2007 after Tubby left, the timing was better in 2009:

“The timing was better because Tubby had won a national title [in 1998], and everybody in town still loved him. So following him would have made the job much harder for me. No disrespect to Billy Gillispie, but it didn’t go well [during his two seasons at Kentucky]. If, following Tubby, we had a bunch of good players who left early, fans may have been up in arms. I tried to tell them that having five players taken in the first round of the NBA draft was the best thing to happen to our program, but there were people who fought me then, saying, “This isn’t about the championship.” Well, it is about championships. But the kids bring you championships, so at the end of the day, it’s about the kids. The program is bigger than all of us. But you’ve gotta make this about the players, and that’s what I do. They may not have accepted that in 2007.”

— As for those stereotypes about Kentucky fans being obnoxious or vicious? False:

“Everybody wants to say that Kentucky fans are vicious or obnoxious. They’re not. They’re crazy in that they watch the tape of our games more than I do. But they’re passionate and smart. Someone said, ‘I’ll bet your fans were mad that you lost to Duke [on Nov. 13].’ They weren’t. They said, ‘Hey, we’re young. We’re gonna get better.'”

— Cal says he started using social media to connect to the fans, not to recruit. And don’t even call him a tech wiz: Cal claims he doesn’t even own a computer. DeWayne Peevy is the one who does most of the tweeting, which is always approved by Cal before going out.

— Who does Cal think are Kentucky’s biggest rivals?

“We treat every game the same, but if we’re playing Louisville or Indiana, North Carolina, Duke, Kansas, UCLA — and I could probably name Tennessee, Florida and a couple of others — those games matter more in our fans’ minds. We have a lot of [big] games because of who we are. But a rivalry can’t be one way. It has to be big for both schools.”

— Yet, Cal is quick to point out that because his players are so young and come from all areas of the country, some rivalries, namely Louisville, might not mean as much to them as they do to us.

— The $64,000 question? Cal says he plans to be at Kentucky “probably another six years, maybe seven” before he passes the job on to someone else. His current contract runs through 2019.

That’s plenty of time to catch UCLA. Be sure to read the interview in full:

[ESPN the Magazine: Kentucky coach John Calipari has relished his time in Lexington]

Article written by Mrs. Tyler Thompson

No, I will not make you a sandwich, but you can follow me on Twitter @MrsTylerKSR or email me.

22 Comments for Cal tells ESPN the Magazine that he’ll be at UK another 6 or 7 years

  1. Uk Fan
    9:43 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Catch UCLA in titles and he goes down in the parthenon of UK greats.

  2. Boing
    9:43 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Why’s it called 4 more years?

  3. MADouble
    9:44 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Can someone fill me in on the whole $64,000 question thing?

  4. barn
    9:48 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    i’d die a happy man if i could only live long enough to see us surpass ucla. wooden cheated all those years and got away with it mainly because there was no internet/social media like today. i just hope cal remains passionate about winning #12

    9:49 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Anybody catch Morehead take the “L” to Marshall last night. Maybe he should ask future opponents to wear UK unis, seems the CATS are the only team the Eagles get up for.

  6. Dave
    9:56 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    So happy to have Cal coaching. This guy is a class act and represents the University, Players, and Fan Base better than anyone could.

  7. KC
    10:01 am November 29, 2012 Permalink


    Did you catch in the article Cal saying “Everything you say and do is deciphered more here than anywhere else.”? This definitely hold’s true
    with saying you will be the coach for 10 years.

  8. minton
    10:05 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Cal is chasing UCLA’s title record.

  9. Truth
    10:27 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    …. or until a sketchy NCAA situation arises

  10. Not to be Debbie Downer, because I hope as much as anyone that Cal catches UCLA, but just to be realistic: keep in mind JUST HOW HARD it is to win a national championship. We’re one of the Rolls Royce programs, but since Rupp became coach, we’ve won 8 in 80+ years! Yep, basically an average of 1 every 10 years! Think back to how many times we’ve come oh so close but didn’t quite close the deal (including years we didn’t necessarily make the Final 4 but that we had the talent to win it all): 1966 (Rupp’s Runts), 1975 (if we had won UCLA is at 10), 1984, 1986, 1992, 1993, 1995, 2010, 2011.

    There may be others that I’m leaving out, but this illustrates the point.

    That said, GO CATS!!!

  11. Jimme
    10:32 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Part of me still misses Tubby because he was such a class act and one of the greatest coaches of our generation, but he just whiffed on the big time recruits too often. If he had closed the deal on a few more studs than he could have been a legend here. Instead, he is in the same category as Joe B Hall……good coach, won a tile, and stayed way too long.

  12. ChicagoCat
    10:44 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    9 – Nice try, guy.

  13. MoreTruthThanTheTruth
    10:45 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    #9, it would have to sketch fairly quickly, hoghead. The super conferences are gonna kick the NCAA’s a$$ to the curb.

  14. Oh, how could I forget 1997, and also the 2 years under Tubby where we got snakebitten by Marquette (2003?) and by UAB in round 1 (2004?).

    In case you haven’t done the math, that is 11 different years I cited, so again, championships just don’t grow on trees unless you’re UCLA in the 60’s-70’s and you have a great coach (*coughcoughrichbooster*) in place.

  15. Brock
    11:42 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Geez. With $5 million a year, you’d think Cal would splurge on a real photographer.

  16. Veracity
    11:50 am November 29, 2012 Permalink

    #9-Can you learn a new song? You have been singing this trite one forever. Your team needs supporters like you. Ours doesn’t. Back to your hovel immediately. Run don’t walk.

  17. C. Zeiss
    12:26 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    What a horrible, creepy photo of Cal.

  18. C. Zeiss
    12:27 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Zombie Cal!!!!

  19. The Lord
    1:18 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Pitino always said he’d quit when he turned 50, my sons. Trust ye not which thy coacheth says, for he is surely lying his asseth off. Goeth ye Cats!

  20. msnthrop
    2:53 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    #3 64,000 dollar question was a mid 1950’s game show…I cant imagine why it is still referenced in popular culture today…

    Why would Cal say 6-7 years…what does he think he is going to do then? Retire, go back to the NBA, I doubt it….Why would he even say that?

  21. Bobbum man
    6:26 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    Will be a sad sad day when Cal leaves…….

  22. Beastymatt54
    6:41 pm November 29, 2012 Permalink

    anyone catch the dig he made at Knight and coach K at the end of the interview? “I’m not the kind of guy who could retire on the job, who’d just stay to get paid. I’m not doing it for numbers or to pass everyone’s win record.” love it!