John Calipari on Kentucky Exit, Says Team ‘Probably Needs To Hear Another Voice’

John Calipari on Kentucky Exit, Says Team 'Probably Needs To Hear Another Voice'

John Calipari is leaving Kentucky. As he finalizes his deal to become the next head coach at Arkansas, Calipari posted a video Tuesday on X announcing his departure from Kentucky.

John Calipari Addresses Exit From Kentucky

“This is a dream job. It was my dream job. Anybody in our profession looks at Kentucky in basketball and says that is the bluest of blue bloods. The last few weeks, we’ve come to realize this program probably needs to hear another voice,” Calipari said in a video addressed to Kentucky’s Big Blue Nation. “And 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 has not accepted the head coaching position at Arkansas nor did he address it in the video. However, Calipari and Arkansas are in the final stages of contract negotiations.

ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported on Sunday night that Calipari is finalizing a five-year deal with Arkansas to replace Eric Musselman, who left to become the head coach at USC.

Following Calipari’s video, Kentucky AD Mitch Barnhart thanked Calipari for his 15 years of service as the head coach of the Wildcats.

“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 on social media. “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.”

John Calipari Leaves Kentucky After 15 Seasons

After 15 seasons, Calipari is out at Kentucky. Hired in 2009, Calipari put Kentucky back on the map rather quickly, culminating with a national championship in 2012.

However, Calipari and Kentucky have won one NCAA Tournament game since 2019. To make matters worse for Calipari, the Wildcats lost to No. 15-seed Saint Peter’s in 2022 and No. 14-seed Oakland this past tournament.

Calipari’s career record at Kentucky is 410-123.

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