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Reporter indicates what pushed John Calipari to leave Kentucky

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

The John Calipari era is coming to an end in Kentucky. The veteran coach was far from oblivious about his waning support from Big Blue Nation.

Reports emerged on Sunday night that Calipari was leaving Kentucky to become the head coach at Arkansas. Details on Calipari’s contract with the Razorbacks can be found here.

Calipari has had “bad feelings” about his place at Kentucky of late, according to FOX reporter John Fanta. Calipari also reportedly no longer felt wanted, which made the situation untenable for the longtime head coach.

Kentucky fans haven’t been shy about expressing their dissatisfaction with Calipari after their recent first-round exit in the NCAA Tournament.

Calipari’s return to coach the Wildcats next season seemed imminent just weeks ago due to the massive buyout in his contract. But the buyout figure would have done little to shield Calipari from further scrutiny from Kentucky faithful if he had chosen to stay.

Calipari has reportely long viewed the Arkansas job as a position of “high regard” even before he assumed the Kentucky post in 2009.

In 15 seasons at Kentucky, Calipari accumulated a 533-410 record. The team missed the NCAA Tournament only twice during that span, which included four Final Four appearances and a national title in 2012.

But the Wildcats’ last Final Four appearance came nearly a decade ago. The team has stumbled of late, leading to a dwindling approval rating for Calipari among Kentucky supporters. The team has failed to advance past the second round since 2019.


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