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Former Kentucky Coach John Calipari Signs a $7M per Year Deal with Arkansas

Calipari Looks to Guide Arkansas to Their First National Championship Since 1994

Huge Expectations

In breaking NCAAB news, former Kentucky basketball coach, John Calipari, has just accepted a five-year offer to coach the Arkansas Razorbacks beginning next season.

 

Former Kentucky Coach John Calipari Signs a $7M per Year Deal with Arkansas
Head coach John Calipari of the Kentucky Wildcats/Joe Sargent/Getty Images/AFP

Arkansas Gets Their Man

John Calipari is one of the most recognizable names in college basketball with a coaching pedigree that spans four decades. His most recent tenure at Kentucky lasted 15 years in which he and the Wildcats were regular March Madness competitors and made college basketball news in 2012 when Kentucky won the men’s national championship.

Although Calipari was amid a 10-year pact with Kentucky, he chose to resign and once he did Arkansas pounced and extended a five-year contract at $7 million per annum along with a $1 million signing bonus and other incentives built into the agreement.

 

 


The position at Arkansas was open after head coach Eric Musselman left for the opening at USC, and the 65-year-old Calipari was the school’s prime candidate.

Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek said, “By all accounts, John Calipari is one of the premier coaches in college basketball. A national championship coach, a four-time national coach of the year, and one of the nation’s top recruiters, Coach Cal has consistently demonstrated his ability to attract outstanding talent, build championship teams within the Southeastern Conference, and position his programs among the best in the nation.

Welcoming a New Era

It appears the Arkansas men’s basketball program and Coach Calipari could both use fresh starts as neither has been particularly successful in the postseason over the last few years. Calipari’s No. 2 Wildcats got bounced by No. 15 St. Peters in the opening round of the Big Dance two years ago and this year Kentucky entered as a No. 3 seed only to get ousted by No. 14 Oakland in the first round.

Arkansas made its way into the Elite Eight in 2021 and 2022 but was stopped last year by the eventual tournament winner, UConn, in the Sweet 16. This year, the Razorbacks ended with a 16-17 record after losing to South Carolina in the second round of the SEC Tournament. Arkansas was not extended an invitation to the national tournament this year but bringing a top recruiter like John Calipari could swiftly right the ship.


Shortly before formally accepting the job at Arkansas, Calipari explained why he was resigning from an institution that has become a critical part of his legacy.

The last few weeks, we have come to realize this program probably needs to hear another voice,” Calipari said. “That the university as a whole has to have another voice giving guidance about this program. The fans need to hear another voice. We think it’s time for us to step away and step away completely from the program. There have been opportunities presented to us and we are discussing them as a family.

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