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John Calipari officially signs new 10-year contract to retire at Kentucky

News of John Calipari’s “lifetime” contract at Kentucky leaked out after the season ended, but today, Cal put the pen to paper and made it official.

Calipari’s new 10-year, $86 million contract will keep him at Kentucky through the 2028-29 season. After six years (2025), Calipari will have the option to step down as the head coach and become special assistant to the athletics director/university representative. He would receive $950,000 in annual compensation for the position.

“One of the truly unique things about Kentucky men’s basketball is its legacy of head coaches who have made their own lasting mark on this program. John is a perfect illustration of that,” Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said. “He has added a special chapter to the greatest tradition in college basketball and it’s a chapter we want him to continue writing until the end of his coaching career. We are pleased to announce a new contract that will enable him to do exactly that.”

With a base salary of $400,000 per season from the university, Calipari will make $8 million in total compensation over the next two seasons with increases starting in 2021-22 ($8.5 million per year for four seasons) and 2025-26 ($9 million per year for four seasons).

“I want to thank the university, Dr. Eli Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and DeWayne Peevy for approaching me with the opportunity to finish my career at Kentucky,” Calipari said. “I’ve said from day one that this would be the gold standard and it has been for student-athletes and coaches. As I enter my 11th year, I’m reminded it took me 20 years to get an opportunity to like this. There is no other place I want to be. As I look forward, my mindset is what’s next and how can we be first at it for the young people that we coach.”

The only incentive in Calipari’s new contract remains his team’s performance in the Academic Progress Rate. For each year his team meets the threshold of 975, Calipari will receive $50,000. Kentucky has earned an NCAA award in five straight seasons for finishing among the top 10% of Division I men’s basketball schools.

Today is a very, very good day to be a Kentucky fan.


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.

11 Comments for John Calipari officially signs new 10-year contract to retire at Kentucky

  1. Headhurts
    5:02 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink


    • J. Did
      7:16 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink


      John Calipari is my hero.


      CAL goes to mass every day. Despite how busy….wow!

      Just WOW!

      That’s awesome!

      On my bucket list…..when I retire….mass, daily.

  2. Bruce Dickinson
    5:07 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    He will be a hard act to follow.

    • Ridge Runner
      6:10 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

      Yes sir…

  3. nicky
    5:13 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    Mitch sounds quite a bit different now than when Cal was first hired

  4. CalsCats3.0
    5:24 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    Smoke and mirrors. All of Cal’s contracts have no buyout on his end. No one ever worries about UK firing him. The concern/rumors has always been about Cal leaving on his own accord.

    I’m assuming this contract still allows him to do this. I think he retires here but this contract hasn’t changed anything.

    • DelrayCat
      6:54 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

      Cal like many powerful people want to maintain their integrity, image, and legacy. Although you are right about this contract not truly being binding…it does create a public perception that if he breaks early will tarnish all that.

  5. mashman 93
    5:36 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    In Cal we trust. Kentucky Basketball is the gold standard like it or not.

  6. Dark Soul
    5:47 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    i want him here longer than 10 more years

  7. 1ukwildcatfan
    6:15 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    I would like to see Coach Cal stay longer than 10 years but I also realize what a stressful job it is. I only hope that he will choose someone with plenty of time to groom to be the next coach when the time comes for him to retire.
    #BBN #GoCATS

  8. DelrayCat
    6:51 pm June 13, 2019 Permalink

    I can’t imagine Coach doing anything but coaching. What is he going to do at retirement..say in 5-6 years and at age 65?? Grow tomatoes, golf and fish? Heck no….he’s our coach for a long time to come yet. Now, he needs to begin to chill with all the game-day yelling or he’s gonna have a heart attack on the sidelines. I see him mellowing out a bit in the next few years. As long as he keeps good assistants and has that private jet..recruiting is easy for him.