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June 5, 2014

Calipari signs extension through 2020-21

John Calipari came up just short of a national championship this past season, but a five-year run of success at Kentucky has earned him a seven-year contract extension.

Calipari has signed a contract extension through the 2020-21 season, UK announced Thursday night, that -- if he coaches for the life of it -- will pay him a guaranteed $52.5 million.

"I've said over and over that I have the best job in the country," Calipari said in a release. "With the continued support from our administration and the greatest, craziest, fans in college basketball, we have accomplished a lot in our five quick years, but we still have lofty goals for the future."

The new contract -- which makes Calipari college basketball's second-highest-paid coach behind Duke's Mike Krzyzewski, according to USA Today's coaching salaries database -- pays Calipari $6.5 million in 2014-15 and escalates to $8 million per year in its final three seasons.

Gone are performance-based incentives for Southeastern Conference and NCAA championships. Calipari's only remaining incentive is $50,000 for every season his team posts an NCAA Academic Progress Rate score of 950 or better. Hitting that number every season would increase the value of the contract by $350,000.

Under his new deal, Calipari is guaranteed $6.5 million in compensation in 2014-15; $7 million in 2015-16; $7.25 million in 2016-17; $7.75 million in 2017-18. In the last three seasons of the deal, he's guaranteed $8 million per season.

Those totals include retention bonuses each year, starting at $1.6 million in 2014-15 and escalating gradually to $8 million for each of the final three seasons of the contract.

If Calipari is fired without cause, UK would owe him $5 million per year for each season remaining on the contract. There is no buyout penalty if Calipari opts to terminate the contract.

Calipari is 152-37 in five seasons at Kentucky. He's coached the Wildcats to an NCAA championship in 2012 and Final Fours in 2011 and 2014. UK has won two SEC regular-season titles and two SEC Tournament titles under Calipari.

Under Calipari, Kentucky has recruited Rivals' No. 1-ranked freshman four times in five seasons and has had 17 players selected in the NBA Draft, including 13 in the first round.

Calipari's teams have posted grade-point averages of 3.0 or better six times in the past seven semesters.

"What Cal has done is returned us to (Kentucky's) glory days of Final Fours and championship efforts, great players, and all along he's helped young people understand the responsibility of going to class, of the commitment to each other and to a program that has as rich of a tradition as this one does," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a release. "It has long been our goal over the last three to five years that Cal enjoy this as his final stop in coaching and that he has an opportunity to finish his career at the University of Kentucky and hopefully set standards and win championships that will be remembered for many, many years to come."


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