John Calipari went from $63K to nation’s top-paid hoops coach. How?

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

John Calipari was just 29 when the University of Massachusetts hired him as its head men’s basketball coach in the spring of 1988.

At his introductory news conference, he spoke about everything from his recruiting philosophy and coaching style to his goal of creating “a love affair between the university and our basketball program.” But he did not talk about the financial terms of his contract.

“It’s between $13,000 and $7 million … but closer to $13,” Calipari quipped, according to The Boston Globe.

That high-end number – $7 million – would have seemed ludicrous at the time. He might as well have said “a bajillion.” 

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