"Where else would I want to coach?"
John Calipari's Kentucky Wildcats were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, as the SEC champion Auburn Tigers prevailed in overtime to advance to the Final Four in Minneapolis.
Roughly 24 hours later, Calipari and the University of Kentucky reached an agreement on a "lifetime contract" that will see Coach Cal retire as head coach of the Wildcats, just as he had hoped.
According to ESPN, Calipari confirmed the news on his radio show, saying, "Where else would I want to coach?"
The Athletic reports that UCLA offered Calipari $48 million over six years to be their next head coach, but it always seemed that he wanted to stay with Big Blue Nation.
Prior to the start of the NCAA Tournament, Calipari tweeted the following:
"Before I go to bed, let me just say this: I’m coaching at the Univ. of Kentucky. In my opinion, there is no better job in the world to coach basketball. My plan and my desire is to retire at Kentucky. I think the university feels the same as I do and we’ve talked openly about it."
Calipari is the highest-paid basketball coach in the country, with total compensation of $9.2 million this year, according to the USA Today Sports. He receives a reported retention bonus of $2.6 million in each of the next three Julys.
According to ESPN, sources said the new Kentucky deal is constructed as a contract extension until Calipari retires and then as a lifetime role as ambassador to the university.