John Calipari is an American basketball coach at the University of Kentucky who has been named Naismith College Coach of the Year three times, and is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.
Calpari played point guard in high school, as well as at Clarion University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated with a degree in marketing. Upon graduating, Calipari served as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas under Ted Bowens and Larry Brown, an almost unprecedented opportunity for someone his age. He followed this with a three year stint as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh, before becoming head coach at the University of Massachusetts in 1988.
During his time at UMass, Calipari led the team to five consecutive Atlantic 10 titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. With an overall record of 193-71, Calipari was named Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year three years in a row. The Minutement became one of the country’s most dominant college basketball teams during Calipari’s tenure.
In 1996, Calipari was hired to replace Butch Beard as head coach of the New Jersey Nets. Under his leadership in the 1997-98 season, the Nets won 43 games and qualified for the playoffs, before losing to the Chicago Bulls in the 1998 playoffs. Calipari then became head coach at the University of Memphis, where he achieved an impressive record of 214 wins, and seven consecutive 20-win seasons. During his time at Memphis, Calipari popularized the dribble drive motion offense and led the Tigers to their second ever number one ranking in the AP Poll. Three years in a row, Calipari was named Conference USA Coach of the Year, and in 2008 received his second Naismith College Coach of the Year award. Sports Illustrated also honored him in 2009 with its College Basketball Coach of the Year title.
Moving to the University of Kentucky in 2009, Calipari led the Wildcats to a series of victories including multiple SEC Tournament Championships and NCAA Championships. While at Kentucky, Calipari had incredible success in recruitment, building some of the most powerful defensive lines ever seen in the sport. In 2012, the NCAA officially recognized Calipari’s 500th all time coaching victory.
Calipari is currently still the head coach at Kentucky. He also regularly appears for speaking engagements, and can be booked for coporate events.