Worried that John Calipari is going to pack it in, call it quits and head into retirement sometime soon? Don’t be.
Coach Cal told ESPN’s Andy Katz that he will likely coach another “six years, maybe seven.” Calipari’s comments appear in a new ESPN The Magazine story.
“This is a 10-year run, then I’ll pass it on to somebody else to keep this program going, because it’s so important to this state,” Calipari says in the story. “I’m not the kind of guy who could retire on the job, who’d just stay to get paid. I’m not doing it for numbers or to pass everyone’s win record.”
For as much as basketball engulfs Coach Cal, the question on how Calipari balances basketball with his family life is pretty interesting. You can check that and another question below. The full Q and A can be found here.
KATZ: Your two daughters, Erin and Megan, are out of the house, but Bradley’s still home. You have an intense, pressure-filled and time-intensive job. How do you find time to be a father and a husband as well as a coach?
CALIPARI: The people who get cheated most in this profession are the wives and children of coaches. You spend a lot of time out of your house. You leave at 7 in the morning and get home at 9 or 10 at night. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to make time. You start figuring out how to work smarter, how to use your time more efficiently. My son probably has it best of all my kids because he’s in the gym all the time. He’s shooting the ball while I’m talking on the practice court. I try to make most of his games. My wife runs the house. She raised our kids with me only partly there. It’s just what coaching is. A lot of times you’re raising other people’s children, sometimes at the expense of your own. I hope that wasn’t the case with my children, but at times it probably was.
KATZ: What has challenged you the most professionally?
CALIPARI: I think the greatest challenge we have is getting to know our kids and learning what we can do to help them be the best version of themselves. Every kid is different, and every kid needs something different from us coaches. You can’t come in and say, “This is how I’m doing it with everyone.” It doesn’t work that way. But I don’t feel challenged by any other coach. I’m not judging myself against this coach or that coach. If I look at the other coach that way, then I become jealous and start thinking stuff if I lose a player — He cheated, or he’s not a good guy, or he doesn’t care about his players. If you’re obsessed with someone or something, you lose. If I go into a game thinking, I need to beat this guy because he challenges me personally … well, over the years when I’ve felt that way, I’ve done a terrible job of coaching that game. Because then it’s more about me than it is about coaching my kids.