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John Calipari leaving Kentucky for another SEC school

Kentucky coach John Calipari at a press conference

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: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Longtime Kentucky head coach John Calipari is switching schools within the SEC.

Calipari is expected to sign a five-year contract to become the coach at Arkansas. The deal is expected to be finalized within the next 24 hours.

Calipari was previously reported to have been “in discussions” with Arkansas for their vacant head coaching post. Those discussions must have gone well enough to get a deal done quickly.

Arkansas on Thursday lost Razorbacks head coach Eric Musselman, who resigned to replace Andy Enfield as the head coach of the USC Trojans.

The Razorbacks enjoyed success under Musselman during his 5-year head coaching stint with the team. Arkansas had a 170-111 record under Musselman. The team made three straight NCAA Tournament appearances from 2021 to 2023, which included two Elite Eight appearances and one other trip to the Sweet 16.

Calipari hasn’t enjoyed the same March Madness success as Musselman of late.

Kentucky has failed to advance past the second round of the tournament for three straight seasons despite being ranked at least top-6 in each appearance. The Wildcats missed the tournament entirely in 2020-21.

Kentucky had reportedly been reluctant to fire Calipari outright due to one massive factor holding them back.

But given the amount of scrutiny Calipari has received from Kentucky supporters of late, the veteran coach appears to have preferred a mutual parting of ways.


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