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John Calipari ranked the 5th best college basketball hire of the past 25 years

How impressive is John Calipari’s eleven-year tenure at Kentucky? ESPN’s John Gasaway ranked the 25 best coaching hires in college basketball in the past 25 years, and Calipari to Kentucky came in at No. 5.

“Prior to Kentucky in 2015, the last undefeated team to make it to the Final Four was UNLV in 1991,” Gasaway noted. “The Wildcats didn’t win the title that year, of course, but they did in 2012. They’ve reached three Final Fours under Calipari (and, perhaps even more incredibly, six Elite Eights), and UK’s recruiting classes ranked either No. 1 or 2 at ESPN.com every year from 2009 to 2018.”

It may sometimes feel like Kentucky’s momentum has slowed in the past five years, but relatively speaking, the Cats are still at the top of the heap. The four coaches ahead of Calipari on the list? Gasaway put Roy Williams to North Carolina at No. 1, Jay Wright to Villanova No. 2, Tom Izzo to Michigan State No. 3, and Bill Self to Kansas at No. 4. Keep in mind that Mike Krzyzewski and Jim Boeheim have been at their respective schools for 40-plus years, so they were not eligible.

Agree? Disagree? With another title, I would put Cal at the top of this list, but of course, that’s easier said than done. Despite all of the drama he stirred up in Louisville, Rick Pitino also made the cut. To find out where, click the link below.

[ESPN]

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.

20 Comments for John Calipari ranked the 5th best college basketball hire of the past 25 years



  1. UKLugo
    6:14 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Mark Few, Bruce Pearl and Rick Pitino should all be ranked higher than they are, imo.



    • 4everUKBlue
      6:18 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      They obviously didn’t take NCAA violations into account or the Hairpiece would not be that high on the list.



  2. herm89
    6:26 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    What have Mark Few and Bruce Pearl done to deserve to be in the top 5?



  3. runningunnin.454
    6:37 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    If they’re going to ignore the shenanigans at Arizona, Auburn, and Kansas (which the ncaa probably will) they might as well should have Will Wade at LSU on there.



  4. IrishCat
    6:38 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    I would rank Cal at least 3, but putting Self ahead of him is a joke



  5. CatsFanFrankfort
    6:40 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    4* Final Fours and 7* Elite Eights. Unless he is not including the 2012 Championship year….



  6. Headhurts
    7:12 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Coaches ahead of cal had more seasons to build their resume’ plus they they failed to mention Roy had a dumpster fire.last season, and Bennet is the only coach of a 1 seed to lose to a 16.



    • Shaggysheep34
      7:23 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      If you had read the article, you’d know they didn’t fail to mention UNC’s most recent season. No coach has more titles than Roy since he’s been in Chapel hill. I hate UNC, but it’s hard to argue with that



    • BobbyBlue
      8:37 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Yeah no coach has more titles with ineligible players then Old Roy.



  7. UKinIN
    7:12 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Other than keeping his job despite multiple players in his program being charged with sexual assault what has Izzo done to be ranked ahead of Calipari?



    • blueNtheFace
      9:05 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

      Had we won the title in 2015, he would be #1…BY A LOT!



  8. bbn606
    7:25 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    I was mad when I read the headline but after seeing the list, he is probably number 5.



  9. VirginiaCat
    9:00 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    If Cal’s performance his last five years was commensurate with his earlier years, he would be #1 by a mile.



  10. dcforuk
    9:17 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Pitino hire at UofL higher than Pitino’s hire at UK?



    • OldSchool606
      12:02 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Pitino was hired at UK more than 25 years ago so it’s outside the time frame of the rankings



    • dcforuk
      7:09 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      Yep, you’re right. Missed that. Was thinking last 40 years.



  11. BTownUKFan
    10:44 pm April 30, 2020 Permalink

    Roy Williams to UNC was a no brainer. He was a UNC alumni, had been having good success at Kansas (although he could not win the big one) and had basically begged for the job. Izzo was another one. had been an assistant under Heathcote…was returning to familiar grounds with the support of his predecessor. Self may be shamed out of Kansas yet so I would not jump to put him on the list.That leaves Wright and Calipari those were gambles that have paid off. Those are the kind of coaching hires that can make or break an AD. I have to believe 90 percent of the writers that participate in these polls graduated from a BIg 10 or an ACC school and make sure they spread the love/BS on their conferences first.
    GO CATS !!



  12. CahillsCrossingNT
    6:30 am May 1, 2020 Permalink

    “UK’s recruiting classes ranked either No. 1 or 2 at ESPN.com every year from 2009 to 2018.” All of that and one title? What would we say if Roy Williams or Mike Krzyzewski delivered exactly this same record over that time period and with the same personnel? We would say they underachieved.



    • dcforuk
      7:16 pm May 1, 2020 Permalink

      And that it is not as easy as you would think.