Calipari says he has no plans to leave ‘best job in the country’


Keith Taylor

Kentucky coach John Calipari said he can’t wait for next season to begin.

LEXINGTON (KT) — John Calipari put an end to the rumors nearly as soon as they began.

The Kentucky coach responded to a rumor on Wednesday, a report that said he would be “open” to coaching in the NBA after more than two decades following a a short-lived stint with the New Jersey Nets.

“It’s that time of year,” Calipari said via Twitter. “Why do rumors start when we’re in the middle of recruiting?”

Currently there are seven vacancies in the NBA and Calipari’s name surfaced on the rumor mill during the past 24 hours. The Kentucky coach insists he’s not planning on leaving Lexington anytime soon.

“I have the best job in the country with the best opportunity to impact young people and add value to their careers and that hasn’t changed. Thus season can’t come fast enough! Let’s go!”

 Calipari is coming off a 9-16 campaign and opened the season with a 1-6 record in the first seven games last year.


John Calipari will be among four statues that will be unveiled at the University of Massachusetts next fall.

Statues featuring Calipari, Marcus Camby, Julius Erving and Jack Leaman will be unveiled near the Mullins Center on Sept. 11 in Amherst.

“These four pillars of our men’s basketball program put Massachusetts Basketball on the map during their time in Amherst,” UMass Athletics Director Ryan Bamford said. “They are responsible for some of the most memorable moments in our program’s history, and we are thrilled to honor their legacies with this lasting tribute.

“We look forward to welcoming these Minuteman legends, their families and our fans back to campus this fall to celebrate this special ceremony together.”

Calipari led the UMass men’s basketball team to an overall record of 193-71 in his eight seasons as coach from 1988-1996. His .731 career winning percentage remains the best in school history, and he ranks second all-time at UMass in victories with 193.

Calipari led the Minutemen to five straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 1992-1996, after UMass had gone to the NCAAs only once in the first 81 years of the program. His Minutemen made the Atlantic 10’s first and only Final Four appearance during the 1996 season, during which they went 35-2 overall and spent 10 weeks ranked No. 1 in the nation. Following the 1996 season, Calipari was named National Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, The Sporting News and Boost / Naismith.

The 1995-96 UMass squad will be inducted as a team. Calipari was inducted into the UMass Hall of Fame in 2004.

Kentucky defeated UMass 81-74 in the national semfinals in 1996 after losing to the Minutemen 92-82 during the regular season. The Wiildcats were 34-2 and national champions after defeating Syracuse in the finals.

The UMass Hall of Fame induction ceremony is set for 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 10.