Coach Cal is in good company.
With Kentucky’s 66-58 victory over Missouri, John Calipari earned his 297th victory as Kentucky’s head basketball coach, tying Joe B. Hall for second-most in school history.
“I wish I hadn’t,” Calipari said after the game. “What Coach Hall did for Kentucky — following an absolute legend, maybe one of the greatest to ever coach this game. He had to walk in and follow Adolph Rupp. Then get to Final Fours, win a National Title. I mean, what he did here, how he did it, and then he’s become my mentor and my friend.
“From day one, he’s been in practice. He’s still trying to get me to play that crazy 1-3-1. He tells me all the time, ‘You need to play it. I’m telling ya, I can put it in in a day.’ I say, ‘Put it in, Coach.’
“Our fans have been so great to him, but you want him to have his place in history. It’s kind of like, you probably shouldn’t stay here long enough to win more games than him.”
Calipari was not eager to surpass Joe B. Hall’s milestone. To catch up with Rupp, he’ll have to have to be at UK for a long time. Calipari currently trails the legend by 279 victories. It’s safe to say that is out of the question.
“You guys here understand when you coach at Kentucky, it’s in dog years,” he grinned. “This is my 70th year at Kentucky, so I don’t think I have many left.”