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BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Who Actually Has The Harder Job – Calipari or Stoops?

(Photo: © Britney Howard | UK Athletics)

(Photo: © Britney Howard | UK Athletics)

So maybe this a question that some of you will feel has an easy answer but I actually think there is a legitimate argument for either answer.  The question really boils down to what do you think makes a job hard.  Is it the expectations that come from that job?  Or is it the barriers that you have to overcome to reach success?  Both John Calipari and Mark Stoops face significant challenges and also have significant advantages when it comes to their job.  But who actually has the more difficult job?  I lay out some of the positives and negatives for each man:

UK Basketball Coach

-Significantly more media and fan obligations
-Significantly more pressure from fans to win
-Higher expectations overall (potentially even unrealistic)
-Physical tolls of the job
-No real off-season


-Easier to recruit nationwide than most other college basketball programs
-Strong, Passionate, Loyal Fanbase
-Unlimited money (at least before COVID)
-Top practice facilities
-Unparalleled history
-Easier Conference

UK Football Coach

-Brutal conference
-Poor home recruiting area
-Less funds than other conference teams


-Renovated stadium
-Less fan expectations
-More patience from fanbase and administration
-Just making bowls are acceptable
-Great Salary for Win Expectations

I will give Mark Stoops this.  He has handled the negatives of the UK football job better than any coach in my lifetime.  He has dominated the rare, elite players that have come from Kentucky and then expanded the recruiting base.  He has flipped several common SEC opponents into the Cats favor, such as South Carolina and Missouri.  And he has fought, and won, for more funding for the program to keep coaches, etc.

But I would still argue that John Calipari has the harder job.  When your entire job comes down to a potential 6 games in March and April, that is extreme pressure.  Just look at how the job has aged coaches like Joe B. Hall, Tubby Smith, and Cal himself.  The expectations of the fanbase are, honestly, not realistic.  And yet Cal has come very close to meeting those expectations for a decade.

I think Mark Stoops certainly has a harder job to WIN at.  But when all factors are considered, I would give the nod to Calipari.

Article written by Bryan the Intern

7 Comments for BTI’s Rants and Ramblings: Who Actually Has The Harder Job – Calipari or Stoops?

  1. bbn606
    10:40 am July 13, 2020 Permalink

    Even with a Natty, Cal has fallen from grace with many Cat fans. Expectations on the basketball side is a killer. Meanwhile, Stoops is basking in the sun with no victories over Ga and one over Florida and Tennessee. You do the math.

  2. chardun20
    10:43 am July 13, 2020 Permalink

    Calipari, the expectations are so high.

  3. Bluemister
    10:47 am July 13, 2020 Permalink

    One thing Covid has not changed—BTI still SUCKS!

  4. Headhurts
    11:06 am July 13, 2020 Permalink

    Joe B’s like a good 90 yrs old, don’t think the job aged him, but b-ball is harder and Cal makes it look easy.

  5. 1stkatman
    1:33 pm July 13, 2020 Permalink

    I’m sorry but this subject is in poor taste. You are comparing apples to oranges here. Cal recruits less than 11 players every single year. He has the gift and knowledge and the salesmanship ability to get the top tone-two classes in the nation every season. For a football team to recruit and reload every season against teams in the SEC, then teams like Clemson, Notre Dame and Ohio State in this region of the country. The football team maintains a running 95 scholarship team and another 20 walk-on players. All of these players have to be coordinated as a unit but trained and conditioned to standards of each position.
    Cal has to manage 13 players with an addition of a few walk-on’s to get enough on the court for all players to practice together. To mobilize a basketball team to go on the road is relatively easy compared to on the road mobilization of a football team.
    I think its ridiculous to compare what our football team is up against in the conference as to what our basketball team is up against in the same conference.
    Both head coaches make into the millions and should have pressure to keep that coming. Mark Stoops only gets half of what Calipari makes, and that is justifiable until Stoops wins the east, and onward to the conference title.
    But I see Cal’s job as being easier in the respect of, he has arrived while Stoops is still trying to climb Mt Everest. Yep! Stoops’ job is the hardest, IMO.

  6. WKY Cat
    1:38 pm July 13, 2020 Permalink

    Managing expectations is different than managing a program. Football is a much more difficult coaching job and managing a program. Basketball is more difficult in managing expectations but easier in managing the program.

  7. 1stkatman
    4:36 pm July 13, 2020 Permalink