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Report reveals how much John Calipari is expected to make in new Arkansas deal

John Calipari at the podium

Mar 28, 2019; Kansas City, MO, United States; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari speaks during a press conference for the midwest regional of the 2019 NCAA Tournament at Sprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Though he will not be making nearly as much as he was at Kentucky, John Calipari is still doing well for himself as he makes the move to Arkansas.

The stunning news broke on Sunday night that the longtime Kentucky head coach Calipari is leaving the school to take the same position with the SEC rival Razorbacks. Calipari departs Kentucky after 15 seasons, having logged 410 wins, four Final Four berths, and a national title in 2012 over that span.

Veteran college basketball writer Jeff Goodman reports that Calipari’s salary at Arkansas is expected to be in the range of $7.5-to-$8 million per season. Goodman adds that Calipari will also have access to an NIL package exceeding over $5 million per year.

Previous reports had stated that Calipari is getting a five-year deal from the Razorbacks, meaning it will carry a total value of about $38-to-$40 million.

Calipari was making roughly $8.6 million per season at Kentucky on the ten-year contract extension that he signed with the school in 2019. Kentucky would have been on the hook for a roughly $35 million buyout if they had fired Calipari without cause this offseason. But since Calipari is leaving to take a job elsewhere, the Wildcats no longer owe a single penny there.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the massive buyout figure was cited as a primary reason behind why Calipari was (at that point) going to return as Kentucky’s coach in 2024-25. But now Calipari has decided to take a little less money to get a fresh start as the two sides make a clean break.


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