College Basketball

Kentucky Basketball Coach John Calipari Contract, Salary, Net Worth, and Buyout

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john calipari

John Calipari is a legendary figure in college basketball. He has been the head coach of the University of Kentucky’s men’s basketball team since 2009, leading the Wildcats to national championships in 2012 and 2015. He is widely regarded as one of the top coaches in the sport, with an impressive record of success both on and off the court. But what are the details of his contract, how much is his salary, and what is his net worth? Let’s take a closer look.

Contract and Salary

Calipari’s current contract with the Wildcats was signed in 2019 and runs through 2029. The ten-year deal is worth $86 million, making him one of the highest-paid coaches in all of sports. Calipari will be 69 once his contract comes to an end.

For the 2022/23 season, Calipari’s salary will be $8.1 million. Unlike many other big contracts coaches sign, Coach Cal’s contract does not really any include many incentives for on-court performance. However, there is an academic incentive where he will receive $50,000 if the team achieves a 975 Academic Progress Rate (APR) score.

He does have some other bonuses attached to his contract that include:

  • Two cars for personal use
  • Tickets to school’s basketball and football games
  • University-paid membership to a local golf club

In addition to this, at the end of the 2023/24 season, Calipari will have the option to opt out of his contract and become a Special Assistant to the Athletic Director.


In the event that John Calipari decides to leave his role as head coach of the University of Kentucky, he will not be subject to any financial penalty. However, if Kentucky chooses to terminate Calipari’s contract without cause, the school would owe him a substantial sum of money, amounting to 75% of his remaining base and supplemental pay.

The buyout amount varies depending on the year of termination:

  • If Calipari is terminated after the 2022-23 season, the buyout would be $39,750,000, plus 75% of his remaining pay from the date of termination until June 29, 2023.
  • For the 2023-24 season, the buyout would be $33,375,000.
  • For the 2024-25 season, the buyout would be $27,000,000.
  • For the 2025-26 season, the buyout would be $20,250,000.
  • For the 2026-27 season, the buyout would be $13,500,000.
  • For the 2027-28 season, the buyout would be $6,750,000.

Calipari’s lengthy contract provides a high degree of stability for the Kentucky basketball program. With the head coach locked in for the a decade, the team can focus on recruiting and developing players without worrying about the uncertainty of coaching turnover. This stability has been a major factor in the Wildcats’ consistent success over the past decade.

Net Worth

Outside of his coaching salary and endorsements, Calipari has also amassed a significant net worth. John Calipari’s net worth is estimated to be in excess of $50 million. He has earned this wealth through a combination of coaching salaries, and endorsement deals.

Calipari began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Kansas in 1982. He then served as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Massachusetts before becoming the head coach at UMass in 1988. Calipari led the UMass Minutemen to the Final Four in 1996 before leaving for the University of Memphis in 2000.

He guided the Memphis Tigers to the NCAA championship game in 2008 before taking over as head coach at the University of Kentucky in 2009. At Kentucky, Calipari has won two national championships and led the Wildcats to numerous NCAA tournament appearances.

Throughout his career, he has been recognized as one of the most successful and innovative coaches in college basketball. All of this helping his substantial net worth.

Calipari is a highly successful coach with a lucrative contract, impressive salary, and substantial net worth. His long-term commitment to the University of Kentucky provides stability and consistency for the Wildcats, ensuring that they will remain a dominant force in college basketball for years to come.