Meet the man who taught John Calipari everything he knows

jsmith3@herald-leader.comOctober 23, 2012 

John Calipari was a public-relations nightmare before he got some help from across the hall.

That was Coach Matthew Mitchell's tongue-in-cheek assessment when asked Tuesday how the Kentucky coaches' close relationship is mutually beneficial.

"My relationship with Cal has helped him tremendously," Mitchell told the media with a sly smile. "He won the national championship last year, and I've been working with him extensively on, really, every phase of the game and mainly on his public-relations skills.

"The guy has had trouble in that area, so I feel good that I've been able to bring him along to where there is interest in that program. Now maybe I can devote more time to our team and see if we can get to a Final Four."

Mitchell got a little more serious as he tried to explain how helpful it's been to have Calipari across the Joe Craft Center hallway as he's tried to build the UK women's program into a title contender.

"His wisdom and his willingness to share that is powerful," Mitchell said. "He asked ESPN to put us on College GameDay, little things like that that you think are big, but just his support is meaningful to me and I appreciate him greatly."

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