Former Kentucky Wildcat Marquis Estill has found his way back to the University of Kentucky. Estill, who played at the University of Kentucky from 1999-2003, is coming back to the university to finally earn his degree. While doing so, John Calipari, who never coached Estill, decided that he would add him to the coaching staff as a graduate assistant. The NCAA rule for this move states that any former player who is still working towards his undergraduate degree can be used as on court game staff. Here is what Estill had to say on the subject of being hired as a part of Coach Cal’s staff at UK:
I’m really excited about joining the staff this season. I’m very grateful that Coach Cal is giving me this opportunity. He is a great coach, and I look forward to working with him and this talented team.
Hiring someone familiar with the Big Blue Nation is nothing new for Coach Cal as he has done it multiple times in the past, and he sees it as a great opportunity for any person who may one day want to pursue a career in coaching.
It’s great that we get to help guys like Marquis or Wayne (Turner) or Tony Delk or Scott Padgett – all guys who are members of our family – to get a start in coaching and help them pursue their goals.
When Coach Cal says that this is a player’s first program, he really means it. This includes any former player as well.
One thing I always tell our players is that they are always welcome back here, especially to get their degree. This is a players-first program, and we will always be here for them in whatever capacity they need. I applaud Marquis for coming back to finish his degree, and I encourage all of our former players to do the same.
Marquis Estill only played 3 seasons in the four years he was a part of the University of Kentucky basketball program, as he sat out his freshman season, redshirting due to a knee injury. In three seasons Estill accumulated 936 points, just shy of the 1,000 point club, and averaging 9.4 points and 4.7 rebounds per game. Before he came to UK, he attended Madison Central High School where he earned the Kentucky Gatorade State Player of the Year award. He accompanied that award with others at UK including, All SEC Tournament Team, All SEC Second Team, and All NCAA Regional Team. Estill left after the 02-03 season for the NBA but was undrafted and could not return to UK to play a final season.