Kentucky Basketball: Brad Calipari joining UK staff to coach not so bad

Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Brad Calipari (Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports)
Kentucky head coach John Calipari and Brad Calipari (Credit: Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Brad Calipari hand head coach John Calipari ( Credit: Nicole Sweet-USA TODAY Sports) /

Brad Calipari, a better fit to learn from the master on the Kentucky sideline

Step up Brad it’s your turn.

One thing in the latest list of coaches’ sons is that Brad seems to be more well-liked by the Big Blue Nation.

Calipari played for the Wildcats from 2017-19 and was a part of a program that won 88 games, advanced to the Elite Eight twice, won a Southeastern Conference regular-season championship and two SEC Tournament titles.

The difference is most of the time was spent on the bench supporting, cheering, and learning while in uniform. In 27 games he played just 73 minutes and tallied a total of 11 career points.

Meanwhile, in just three years he earned his undergraduate degree so he headed to Detroit Mercy as a graduate player and saw action in 33 games over two years averaging 6.1 points per game.  Just like at Kentucky he was excelling in the classroom and completed a master’s degree in liberal studies in May of 2021.

Unlike his two predecessors, John Calipari made no promises just how much time his son would play and stuck by that promise.

It’s safe to say coaching was always going to be the family legacy and Brad has been learning from his father’s tutelage for many years.

He relates to the players, understands what his father demands, gets the enormous pressure Big Blue Nation puts on the players, and gives them an extra practice player all the while crafting his trade at becoming a head coach one day.

You will even hear a bit of dad when he speaks.

"“I’ve had a first-hand chance to see what Kentucky can do for players and their families and I promise to do all that I can to help each one of them achieve their dreams. I do not take this opportunity lightly and appreciate the chance to begin my coaching career at the mecca of college basketball.”"

As a graduate assistant, Brad Calipari will be involved in all on-court activities with the Wildcats including practices, individual workouts, and film sessions. He will also play an integral role with the staff in the development of practice plans and advanced scouting of upcoming opponents.

Calipari will pursue a master’s in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport leadership while as a member of the UK coaching staff.

Love or hate a coach’s son on your roster or staff, but of the three I will gladly take Brad Calipari to make more contributions all around than Sean or Saul. Before you criticize him what has he done or is doing to hurt the Kentucky brand and image.


We are better for him being on the Rupp Arena Floor once again – well the sideline.