John Calipari, whose amazing performance as the head coach of Kentucky’s basketball team boosted his claim to fame, was recently offered a lifetime contract by his team, according to ESPN. Calipari’s potential new contract with Kentucky offered him a combination deal, extending his position as the university’s head coach of basketball and offering him the opportunity to be paid as an ambassador once he decides to retire from coaching. Under the new contract, Calipari would remain the head coach of Kentucky’s basketball team for at least another decade.
Before Kentucky decided to offer Calipari a potential lifetime contract, his contract was set to end in 2024, earning him $9.2 million for the past year. That previous contract did earn Calipari the achievement of becoming the highest-paid basketball coach in the United States. On top of those figures, Calipari also gets a retention bonus for the next three years of $2.6 million.
Prior to Kentucky offering Calipari his new contract, the successful NCAA basketball coach had been shopping himself around. In fact, he was talking to UCLA since that university recently had an opening for the position of head coach. UCLA made a six-year offer to Calipari for $48 million, according to Reuters.
While it appears Kentucky offered Calipari the lifetime contract to counter UCLA’s recent offer, UCLA did have issues trying to search for coaches. UCLA has had problems offering potential coaches charter flights, which is not usually the case for other schools that participate in the NCAA. However, UCLA always utilizes commercial flights, and has continued that process throughout the past few seasons. Charter flights only started happening for UCLA on occasion during this year’s Pac-12 play.
JUST IN: A UK spokesman confirmed to WAVE 3 Sports Director Kent Taylor on Monday that the school has agreed to terms on a long-term contract with Calipari to finish his career at Kentucky. https://t.co/iIp5bLP6Kv— wave3news (@wave3news) April 1, 2019
UCLA fired their most recent coach, Steve Alford, back on December 31, 2018. Since then, the school has been trying to attract a famous basketball coach to their school. UCLA was not only thinking about hiring Calipari, but also thought about trying to attract Virginia’s Tony Bennett to their head coach opening, according to ESPN.
Calipari has put up a stellar record as Kentucky’s head basketball coach. This season, Kentucky had a 30-7 record and earned a second seed in the NCAA tournament. The team made it to the Elite Eight. However, Kentucky wound up suffering a 77-71 loss to Auburn this past weekend. Regardless, Calipari has taken Kentucky to the Final Four four times, in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015, and also won the national championship back in 2012.