Kentucky coach John Calipari will not be making his way out of Lexington anytime soon. During an appearance on his weekly radio show on Monday, just one day following the heartbreaking Elite Eight loss to No. 5 seed Auburn that bounced the Wildcats from the NCAA Tournament, Calipari confirmed rumors from earlier in the day that he has agreed to a "lifetime" contract extension with Kentucky. According to ESPN, upon his retirement, Calipari will serve in a paid ambassador role for the program. News of the long-term deal was first reported on Monday by The Athletic.
According to The Athletic, UK made a "lifetime contract" offer as a direct response from UCLA's pursuit of Calipari. UCLA reportedly offered Calipari -- currently making $9.2 million annually according to USA Today -- a contract worth close to $50 million over six years. He ultimately turned the deal down, but during the revelation of his extension on Monday, Calipari said the new deal has nothing to do with interest from any other school.
"It has nothing to do with the other stuff ... people call every year," Calipari said. "They presented it to me and I appreciate it. Where else would I want to coach?"
Here's more regarding the reported offer from UCLA.
UCLA offered Calipari a contract worth approximately $48 million over six years, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. The contacts between Calipari and UCLA have been more extensive than previously reported, but Calipari told UCLA last week he is not interested in leaving Kentucky.
Kentucky's ouster before the Final Four is a disappointment for Big Blue Nation, sure. But administration was wise to lock Calipari up for as long as possible. Since his arrival in 2009, the program has made four Final Four appearances, seven Elite Eights and only missed the NCAA Tournament once. His Final Four appearances at UK are more than Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski (2) and Michigan State coach Tom Izzo (3) in the last decade, all of whom are considered to be among the elite in the game.
Calipari most recentlythat runs through 2024 and pays him $8 million annually excluding bonuses and apparel contracts. According to USA Today, his $25 million buyout as of April 1, 2019 is the highest buyout among NCAA Division I basketball coaches.