UK pays Coach Cal $7.75 million a year. Here’s how he makes even more.

University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari makes millions on the basketball court, but the paychecks from his side gigs aren’t shabby either.

Want Calipari to be your keynote speaker? That could cost you anywhere from $10,000 to $64,000.

Last year, he spoke to Gray Construction for $15,000 and Texas Roadhouse for $25,000, according to the report he files with the UK Athletics Department every year detailing all the money he makes outside of his $7.75 million annual contract with UK. Calipari is represented by Creative Artists Agency as part of their speakers bureau, and through that group, spoke at a company event for Power Home Remodeling in 2014 for $42,000 and to Regions Bank for $64,000 in 2015.

In the past three years, Calipari reported about $1.1 million in outside income, which includes a personal contract with Nike, UK’s official athletic apparel provider; book and video royalties; and various speaking fees.

The issue of outside payments to basketball coaches has gotten attention this month because of a federal criminal investigation into recruiting. At the University of Louisville, basketball coach Rick Pitino was suspended over allegations that apparel maker Adidas allegedly helped steer a recruit to the school. Pitino has a personal services contract directly with Adidas that funneled him most of the money Adidas was contracted to pay U of L as its official apparel sponsor.

Calipari has a similar personal contract directly with Nike, UK’s apparel provider, though Nike has paid Calipari far less than Adidas paid Pitino. Under the contract, Calipari receives apparel for his camps, and bonuses for NCAA wins and Final Four appearances.

Among the biggest payments to Calipari:

▪ $317,985 between 2014 and 2016 from Black Inc., the book publisher for “Success is the Only Option” and “Players First.”

▪ $262,400 in 2016 from Midroll Media, LLC, which produces Calipari’s podcast;

▪ $191,000 from 2014 to 2016 from Nike. Of that, $100,000 was for appearances in the 2014 and 2015 NCAA Final Four, said UK spokesman Jay Blanton.

▪ $26,563.92 from 2014 to 2016 from Championship Productions, which make Calipari’s coaching videos;

The smallest amount is $1.70 from 20th Century Fox Films, a movie residual payment from a film he did before arriving at UK. Blanton said Calipari had a cameo in a Memphis coffee shop in a movie called “N-Secure.”

Calipari also lists his membership at the Lexington Country Club — $12,155.58 in 2016 — because that’s a taxable benefit provided through his contract. UK pays for that membership, but he has to report it as taxable income.

Last year, the NCAA stopped requiring coaches to report outside income to their schools. Although it’s no longer required by the NCAA, UK still requires their coaches to report outside income, Blanton said.

“President Capilouto and Director Barnhart strongly believed this reporting requirement was important to maintain,” Blanton said. “They want — and our coaches agree — that it is important to be as transparent as possible with the income coaches receive and where that income comes from. The outside income reports help ensure that principle is honored.”

Unlike UK, U of L no longer requires coaches to report outside income. According to the final report for Pitino in 2015, he made $2.4 million from Adidas, and about $300,000 for speaking engagements.

Linda Blackford: 859-231-1359, @lbblackford

Former Kentucky star John Wall talks about being inducted into the UK Athletics Hall of Fame.

Who else paid Coach Cal in 2016?



Lexington Country Club


Black Inc. (book)


Championship Productions (instructional video)


Midroll LLC podcast


7 Enterprises


20th Century Fox Films


CA Miller Industries (speech)


ProSport (speech)


PFP and Sports Celebrity speech


Stands LLC speech


Gray Construction speech


Texas Roadhouse speech