John Calipari bucks UCLA coaching rumors: 'My plan and my desire is to retire at Kentucky'

It's an annual tradition unlike any other. No, not the NCAA Tournament, but the time of year when rumors fly linking Kentucky coach John Calipari to a high-profile job elsewhere that people believe could pony up the cash to lure him away from Lexington. Well, consider this most recent cycle of swirls squashed.

Rumors this past month have emerged regarding Calipari potentially heading to Westwood to take over the UCLA job that was vacated earlier this year when the Bruins fired Steve Alford midseason. But Calipari shut those whispers down Wednesday less than 24 hours before the Wildcats' first round NCAA Tournament game, tweeting that his plans and desires are to retire at Kentucky.

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Calipari has it good in Lexington. He's the highest-paid coach in college basketball by several million dollars according to USA Today, he recruits at the highest level among coaches at the Division I level and is always in the conversation of having one of the best and most talented teams in America. UCLA hasn't been in that discussion -- outside a Lonzo Ball blip year -- for some time.

Perhaps a change for the sake of change would be a good thing for Calipari, who faces lofty and sometimes unreasonable expectations at Kentucky. He's been the head coach there for a decade, the longest tenure he's enjoyed as a head coach at any level during his professional career. But money matters, and regardless of rumors of potential big-name boosters willing to fork over serious dough to bring him to Westwood, Alford was compensated less than $3 million annually. The likelihood he'd move west to pay gaudy state taxes and potentially make less money in a significantly worse situation ultimately makes little sense.

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