Kentucky announced the new seven-year deal Thursday night. It will pay Caliparia base salary of $400,000 per year with total compensation ranging from $6.55 million next season to $8.05 million in the final year of the deal.
"Basketball has long been the marquee sport at the University of Kentucky," UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in a statement released by the school. "It's a sport that the traditions of this university and this state have been founded on. They were developed and sort of started from the get-go by Adolph Rupp and through many good people since. What Cal has done is returned us to those glory days of Final Fours and championship efforts, great players, and all along he's helped young people understand the responsibility of going to class, of the commitment to each other and to a program that has as rich of a tradition as this one does.
"It has long been our goal over the last three to five years that Cal enjoy this as his final stop in coaching and that he has an opportunity to finish his career at the University of Kentucky and hopefully set standards and win championships that will be remembered for many, many years to come."
Of particular interest in the new deal are "retention" bonuses that escalate each year on July 31, an incentive that may help keep Calipari at Kentucky when the annual NBA openings and subsequent rumors abound. It will give the UK boss $1.6 million on July 31 next year and gradually increases to a $2.6 million bonus in the final year of the year.
Unlike many deals of its kind, the contract does not have incentives for regular season or postseason performance. It does, however, feature a $50,000 bonus for maintaining Academic Progress Report (APR) standing of 950 or higher.
"I'd like to thank Mitch and Dr. (Eli) Capilouto for their commitment to me, my family and the basketball staff," Calipari said in a statement released by UK. "I've said over and over that I have the best job in the country. With the continued support from our administration and the greatest, craziest, fans in college basketball, we have accomplished a lot in our five quick years, but we still have lofty goals for the future. We want to continue to help young people and their families reach their dreams, while at the same time maintaining our success on the basketball court, in the classroom and in the community."
Since coming to Kentucky in 2009, Calipari has led the Wildcats to a 152-36 record, a national championship in 2012, a national runner-up in 2014 and a Final Four finish in 2011. He has also established UK as a premier destination for top players, signing five consecutive top-ranked recruiting classes and a No. 2 class this year.