Arkansas Officially Announces John Calipari as New Basketball Coach With Cheeky Tweet

The Razorbacks made the hire official on Wednesday morning.
Mar 9, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during the first
Mar 9, 2024; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during the first / Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

Arkansas men's basketball made the hire of longtime Kentucky coach John Calipari official on Wednesday morning, ending the Hall of Fame coach's 15-year run in Lexington.

"Cal. Those. Hogs. Hall of Famer John Calipari is officially the head of the Arkansas Razorbacks," the social media post read on Wednesday morning.

Calipari released a video on his social media accounts on Tuesday confirming that he would be stepping down at Kentucky. Calipari's announcement came less than 24 hours prior to an Arkansas board of trustees meeting to approve his contract in Fayetteville.

Calipari has signed a five-year contract with Arkansas with a salary beginning at $7 million per season. The contract contains a maximum of two automatic rollover years for NCAA tournament appearances that would extend his contract through the 2031 season, according to Brandon Marcello of 247Sports. Calipari will also receive a $1 million signing bonus, and has $500,000 retention bonuses in his contract that trigger at the beginning of each year.

Calipari also has a one-time incentive bonuses in his contract for making the NCAA tournament, reaching the Round of 32, Sweet 16, Final Four, and winning a national championship.

Calipari replaces Eric Musselman in Fayetteville, who departed for the vacant position at USC. The timing was right for Calipari, who was under mounting pressure at Kentucky after failing to make it out of the first round in the NCAA tournament for the second time in three seasons.

Calipari ends his coaching tenure at Kentucky with a 410-123 record, four Final Four appearances, and a national championship victory in the 2011-12 season.


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Mike McDaniel

MIKE MCDANIEL

Mike McDaniel is a writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated, where he has worked since January 2022. His work has been featured at InsideTheACC.com, SB Nation, FanSided, and more. Mike hosts the Hokie Hangover Podcast, covering Virginia Tech athletics, as well as Basketball Conference: The ACC Football Podcast. Outside of his professional life, he is a husband, father, and an avid golfer.