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Report: John Calipari Leaving Kentucky Basketball For Arkansas

John Calipari
Kentucky HC John Calipari. Photo by Chet White/Kentucky Athletics.

John Calipari is leaving Kentucky basketball to become the new head coach at Arkansas, ESPN’s Pete Thamel first reported late Sunday night.

It ends a 15-year tenure in Lexington that saw Calipari lead Kentucky to six SEC Regular Season Championships, six SEC Tournament Championships, four Final Four appearances and the 2012 National Championship.

But things have gone sideways for Calipari and Kentucky the last nine years. The Wildcats haven’t made the Final Four since they lost to Wisconsin in the 2015 national semifinals after posting a 38-0 record to that point in the season.

Kentucky hasn’t made it out of the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament since 2019 and suffered embarrassing NCAA Tournament losses against Oakland this past season and against Saint Peter’s in 2022.

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Calipari’s seat was starting to get hotter-and-hotter after recent disappointments and the veteran head coach decided to bolt within the conference to coach at rival Arkansas.

The 65-year old head coach takes over at Arkansas shortly after Eric Musselman left the Razorbacks for USC after just five years in Fayetteville. Musselman helped rejuvenate the Arkansas program including two trips to the Elite Eight and another to the Sweet 16 during his tenure.

Kentucky now begins its search to find Calipari’s replacement. The Wildcats will have a new head coach for the first time since the 2008-09 season.

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One Response

  1. I think this is a slap in the face for the Lady Vol program. He should have went after a big time power 5 women bball coach that has proved there self in D-1 level. A coach that recruits elite high school player and can recruit good player out of the portal.

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