Kentucky is raising more than the bar in an effort to keep John Calipari in Lexington, announcing a seven-year, $52.5 million contract loaded with annual retention bonuses to reward his loyalty to the program.
Calipari can make an average of $2.33 million for every offseason in which he chooses to stay at UK and resist the constant pull of the next best offer. For example, prior to the 2014 national championship game, reports surfaced that Calipari was the next head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers.
While that proved to be little more than a rumor, the other constant with Calipari has been success, and suitors will always chase that.
"It has long been our goal of the last three to five years that Cal enjoy this as his final stop in coaching and that he has the opportunity to finish his career at the University of Kentucky and hopefully set standards and win championships that will be remembered for many, many years to come," athletic director Mitch Barnhart said in a news release.
"I'd like to thank Mitch and (UK president Eli) Capilouto for their commitment to me, my family and the basketball staff," Calipari said the news release. "I've said over and over that I have the best job in the country. With the continued support from our administration and the greatest, craziest fans in college b basketball, we have accomplished a lot in our five quick years, but we still have lofty goals for the future. We want to continue to help young people and their families reach their dreams, while at the same time maintaining our success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community."
The 55-year-old Calipari made $5.2 million annually under his old deal, which was loaded with performance-based incentives. The only achievement bonuses available in the new deal are the retention payment and a possible $50,000 if Kentucky's APR score is 950 or higher.