Calipari, Stoops sign two-year extensions

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Kentucky men’s basketball head coach John Calipari and football head coach Mark Stoops have each agreed to two-year extensions to their respective contracts, Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart announced on Wednesday.

The amendment to Calipari’s contract extends his deal from March 30, 2022 to March 30, 2024. Calipari’s total guaranteed compensation – including base salary, media/endorsement payments and retention bonuses – will be $8 million for the amended term. The total guaranteed compensation will increase to $7.75 million for the 2017-18 season and $8 million for each season thereafter.

“John has achieved consistent championship-level performance at Kentucky,” Barnhart said. “No one in America is better suited for everything that comes with being the coach here. Not only has he attained incredible success on the court, he is also a leader in our community and in college basketball. We have been blessed to have him and Ellen here for the last eight years and we are blessed they will continue to call Kentucky home.”

Calipari is in his eighth season as Kentucky’s head coach. Under his leadership, the Wildcats will make their sixth appearance in the Sweet 16 on Friday vs. UCLA. UK swept the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2016-17, giving Calipari 29 combined regular-season and tournament conference titles in his career. That total ranks second among active coaches. Calipari has also guided UK to four appearances in the Final Four, including the 2012 national championship. Calipari has registered four 30-win seasons at UK and he has 10 total seasons with 30 or more wins, the second most of any coach in NCAA Division I history. The 2015 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame inductee has a record of 248-52 at UK and has coached 28 players who have gone on to be selected in the NBA Draft.

“The last eight years at the University of Kentucky have been a terrific ride,” Calipari said. “This extension shows our full commitment to each other. I believe this school is the gold standard and I’m so thankful and blessed that this university has given me this opportunity at this point in my career.”

The amendment to Stoops’ contract extends his deal from June 30, 2020 to June 30, 2022. Stoops’ contract provides for total guaranteed compensation of $3.5 million for the current year. The total increases $250,000 in each successive year, including the two years added as part of this amendment.

“The last four years have been a grind for Mark and his staff, but he has never wavered in his commitment to building Kentucky football into a consistent winner,” Barnhart said. “While the work isn’t close to finished, we believe Mark is the coach to take us there. We are thankful to Mark and Chantel for all they have done to this point and we look forward to our program’s bright future under his leadership.”

Stoops completed his fourth season as UK’s head coach in December, which culminated in a trip to the TaxSlayer Bowl, the program’s first appearance in a bowl game since the 2010 season. The Wildcats tied for second place in the SEC Eastern Division, the team’s highest finish since the league split into divisions in 1992. His tenure has been marked by steady improvement on the field, fueled by some of the most highly regarded recruiting classes ever seen in Lexington. In February, Stoops signed a 2017 class rated No. 26 overall by Rivals, UK’s fifth straight class ranked No. 34 or better. UK’s top-ranked class prior to Stoops’ arrival, according to Rivals, was rated No. 36.

“I want to thank Dr. (Eli) Capilouto, Mitch Barnhart and the Board of Trustees for their continued support,” Stoops said. “When we came here, doing a rebuild in a challenging situation, I said that full support from everyone involved was imperative and we have always received that.  We needed great commitment, we’ve had great commitment and we’re continuing to get great commitment.”

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