Looking at the elite college basketball programs in America, not many of them can say they have done what Kentucky has done over the span of the last five years. Under John Calipari, the Cats have saw three Final Fours and a national championship. The Big Blue Nation has also been treated with their fair share of McDonald’s All-Americans and NBA lottery picks. Also under Coach Cal, Kentucky has firmly set at the top of the all-time wins with only Kansas and UNC as the nearest threats behind.
So, why would Coach Cal want to leave Kentucky? Besides the inevitable of Coach Cal eventually retiring, when looking at other programs both on the college and professional levels, none of them seem as though if they can probably give Coach Cal the same satisfaction as Kentucky can. For an example, Coach Cal has constantly stated since he’s been at Kentucky that players at Kentucky will be treated as a ‘players first program’ and that ‘it’s all about changing kinds lives.’ If someone was really thinking about leaving a program, why would they say such things?
The only logical explanation is that Coach Cal is happy at Kentucky and knows that it is one of the best (if not the best) basketball programs in the nation, both on the college and professional levels. There’s not many places in the country that with the name alone on the front of the jerseys will gain attention from recruits, and if that was not enough the rich tradition that goes along with the name as well. Players want to be apart of something, whether it’s a national title, the first to 2,000 wins or raising another banner, players want to be remembered.
Like his players, it’s easy for one to think that Coach Cal also wants to be remembered. It’ll be amazing to see want else he does while at Kentucky, but for now he will be remembered for his relatable personality, a national championship in 2012, turning the program around in 2014 and almost winning the whole thing, and let’s not forget “succeed and proceed.” Sure, he’s already accomplished plenty while at Kentucky, but there still may be plenty more left for the years ahead in the legacy of John Calipari.
An interesting thought to consider, if the “one-and-done” rule changes, Coach Cal said that he might stay at Kentucky for more than 10 years. Coach Cal has been at Kentucky five years now. Does that mean that Coach Cal will really retire soon, if the rule isn’t changed? Hopefully not, but who knows with Coach Cal. Regardless, he’s got the best job in the country.