John Calipari confirms he's out at Kentucky, gives message to Big Blue Nation | Zagsblog
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Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
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Sunday / May 26.
  • John Calipari confirms he’s out at Kentucky, gives message to Big Blue Nation

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    UPDATE: Adam Zagoria reported over on NJ.com that Kentucky is targeting Baylor coach Scott Drew to replace John Calipari.

    By SAM LANCE

    After 15 years at Kentucky, John Calipari is officially out as head coach. The hall of famer released a video statement to X.com on Tuesday afternoon to confirm.

    “Since our season ended, Ellen and I have spent a lot of time thinking about our time here at Kentucky, what it means to us, the friends we’ve made,” Calipari said. “On that court — regional championships, conference championships, Final Fours, the national title in 2012 — it’s been a beautiful time for us. This is a dream job. My dream job. Anybody in our profession looks at the University of Kentucky in basketball and says, ‘That’s the bluest of blue.’

    Calipari continued:

    “The last few weeks, we’ve come to realize that this program probably needs to hear another voice. The university as a whole has to have another voice giving guidance about this program that they hear. The fans need to hear another voice. We’ve loved it here. But we think it’s time for us to step away, and step away completely from the program.”

    Calipari noted there have “been opportunities presented to us,” but did not officially state he is taking the Arkansas job. It has been reported by KSR that Arkansas will make things official with Calipari Tuesday afternoon.

    It was also reported by Kentucky broadcaster Dick Gabriel that Calipari asked Kentucky to counter Arkansas offer. Kentucky reportedly declined.

    In Calipari‚Äôs time at Kentucky, the Wildcats have gone to four Final Fours and won a national title in 2012. He’s also seen 47 of his players drafted to the NBA with 23 of those coming in the lottery. Calipari has produced three No. 1 overall picks in John Wall, Anthony Davis and Karl Anthony-Towns.

    “I love coaching,” Calipari said. “I love coaching young people. I loved this year’s team. I loved every day walking in. They invigorated me. I love the chase for championships. I love bringing the kids together. It’s what I do. It’s who I am. I want to thank the friends and the families I’ve had the privilage of coaching, because they’ve entrusted me with their son, and their son’s career.”

    Kentucky Athletic Director Mitch Barnhart also released a statement on X.com on Tuesday.

    “We’re appreciative of John Calipari leading our program for the last 15 years, adding to the legacy of championship success at Kentucky,” Barnhart said. “We’re grateful to John for his many contributions to the University, and our state, both on and off the court. We are working diligently to hire a proven, highly dedicated coach who embraces the importance of this program to our fans and the state of Kentucky.”

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