Kentucky coaches took $450,000 worth of private flights last year

Monday July 28th, 2014

The basketball and football coaches at the University of Kentucky are racking up the frequent flier miles on private jets, in some months taking more than $100,000 worth of chartered flights.

According to records published by the Courier-Journal, head basketball coach John Calipari hit the recruiting trail hard, taking $97,618.33 worth of chartered flights last July and $102,590.23 last September.

That persistence has paid off as Kentucky has signed 23 five-star prospects in his five seasons in Lexington. This season, Kentucky's recruiting class which features four five-star prospects, ranks behind Duke for the top spot. 

"Coaching at Kentucky allows certain opportunities, one of which is to be able to coordinate our busy recruiting schedule and team practices," said Calipari. "Because of access to private planes, I am able to get out and see the kids I need to see but make it back in time to be with my team."

Head football coach Mark Stoops took his private flights between December and national signing day in February. He took $106,845.46 worth of flights in that time frame, including $64,069.52 in the final weeks before signing day. According to, Kentucky’s football program had the 17th best recruiting class this season. 

Calipari and Stoops combined to take $450,000 worth of flights during the 2013-14 fiscal year.

More: Coach K: 'I do not see an end of my road in my college coaching'

- Scooby Axson

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.