When John Calipari signed an eight-year contract extension in the offseason, he said he probably wouldn’t coach into his 60s. A few months later, that hasn’t changed for Coach Cal.
Twice on Friday Calipari said he can’t envision himself coaching much more than 10 years.
“I’d like to live a life after I’m done coaching,” Calipari said. “I’d like to be alive and happy. What I don’t want to be is a bitter, bitter old coach. I just don’t want to be that. I want to be a guy that had a good run, took care of a lot of kids, a staff that all got jobs, everybody benefitted by us coming together, and my wife and I look back and said, ‘Hey, we’ve done good. We treated people right.’ ”
Calipari is in his third season at Kentucky after extended head coaching stints at Massachusetts and Memphis. His career began in 1983 as an assistant at Kansas and he coached the NBA’s New Jersey Nets for a couple of season in the late 1990s.
“This is one of those ones where as long as I’m having a ball coaching, that means my kids will have fun,” Calipari said Friday. “If I’m not having a ball doing this I just won’t do it. I’ll pass it on to the next guy and say, ‘You’ll do great. It’s a great thing. I’m telling you, you’ll love it.’ ”
Calipari said his cap of about 10 years is a notion he got after eating dinner with former UK coach Joe B. Hall a few nights ago. With the demands and responsibilities of the job, that’s about as long as a coach can last in this position without wearing down.
“There’s not many jobs that you wear the coat 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it never leaves,” Calipari said. “This is one of them. So then it becomes how long can you go at the pace that I go.”
Don’t worry, UK fans, Calipari isn’t planning on retiring anytime soon. He still loves what he does and isn’t ready to hang it up in the near future.
“It took me 20 years to get here so I’m not like so quick to leave a place like this,” Calipari said. “Other guys have had these jobs for 15, 20 years. It took me 20 years to get a job like this, so I’m not in a hurry to leave. In the same sense, when it’s time, I think we’ll all know.”