Derrick Rose
Point Guard
Chicago Bulls
2010-11 NBA MVP
“He always wanted me to be great. When I was going to college, I wasn’t aggressive. In high school, I probably averaged 14-16 points. He just makes you aggressive the whole time. He makes you play hard the whole time.”

John Wall
Point Guard
Washington Wizards
2010 No. 1 Draft Pick
“He’s just like a father. He takes care of us like we’re his sons. He’s going to push you to make sure he gets the best out of you. He’s preparing you for the next level and he does a great job of it.”

Jay Bilas
ESPN analyst
“John’s out front (with) ‘We want to prepare you to be a pro.’ Nothing wrong with that. Kids want to be pros. It’s OK to pursue that dream.”

Larry Brown
SMU head coach
“I’ve been with some great ones, but I think John’s the whole package.”

Jon Hood
Former UK guard
“He makes you better as a player. Look at Josh (Harrellson). Look at DeAndre (Liggins). It doesn’t matter who you are. He makes you better as a person. He’s not only a great coach to play for but to be around. He’s upbeat about everything and can change your life.”

Josh Harrellson
Former UK forward
Center, VEF R?ga
“Basketball isn’t about taking all the great talents. It’s about making players better. That’s what he did with me. I don’t have all the talent in the world. But I’ve got hard work and determination. That’s what he brought out in me.”

Mitch Barnhart
Athletic Director, UK
“The one thing people have always enjoyed emotionally is Kentucky basketball. Cal has brought that (joy) back and given people some pride in their program again. He’s given them energy and fun and I don’t know how you put a price tag on that.”

Dan Wetzel
Yahoo! Sports
“The thing about Calipari is he’s always moving forward, on to the next thing. Here’s a guy whose mantra is to “Bounce Back” (the title of his book) from adversity and strive to be better. It sounds hokey. It doesn’t fit the image. Then he raises a million bucks in 90 minutes.”

Gregg Doyel
The Indianapolis Star
“UMass had been stalled for 25 years, but he got that program up and rolling. Memphis had been stuck in neutral until he got that place rolling. He’ll get Kentucky rolling, too. Heaven help anyone who gets in the way.”

Wayne Martin
General Manager, WKYT
“There has always been a big UK following, especially in basketball. What has happened now with Cal is he’s expanded it exponentially. He embraces it. He makes himself accessible to the Big Blue Nation. He’s an amazing ambassador for the University of Kentucky.”

Andy Glockner
Sports Illustrated
“The marriage of Calipari with the storied history, resources and relentless passion of Kentucky … has created an unassailable monster.”

Jon Rothstein
CBS Sports Network
“Kentucky is more than a basketball program under John Calipari — it’s an empire. And there really is no way to stop it.”

Willie Cauley-Stein
Sacramento Kings
No. 6 overall pick
“He’s like a life teacher. He’s a life coach. He doesn’t just coach the game of basketball. He wants us to become men. It’s not all about basketball. It’s not all about wins. Regardless whether we won games or not, Coach Cal is still going to be Coach Cal. He’s still going to be really successful. He’s still going to do all the things he does. I think one of his biggest teaching moments is actually making us into young men and teaching us life skills to use when we’re done playing basketball, or when we take the next step.”

Ron Cook
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“But there’s so much more to the Kentucky story than just great players. Calipari is at the center of it all. He not only recruits the best of the best, year after year, but he also coaches ‘em up and controls their egos. No one in his sport does it better.”

Mike DeCourcy
Sporting News
“Calipari unapologetically has made Kentucky basketball into a program designed to help young prospects develop their skills, to showcase them for professional scouts and, perhaps most important, to build an awareness that it’s a team game first and collective success can be reflected in all those who contribute.”

Knoxville, TN - 2015.03.31 Tennessee Volunteers Head Coach Rick Barnes portraits

Rick Barnes
Head Coach
“I think he’s a great basketball coach. He’s a Hall of Fame coach, and he’s won everywhere he’s been. What I love about him and what I think makes him special is the tremendous loyalty he has with his players, and they love him. And I think that speaks volumes. I think he’s great.”