UK Men's Basketball

Calipari, Barnhart discuss a new deal

University of Kentucky Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said Tuesday night the university and John Calipari have started talks on a new deal that would keep the coach with the Wildcats for the rest of his career.

"We have begun initial discussions on restructuring his contract so that he's the coach at Kentucky until he retires," Barnhart said in a statement.

Barnhart's comments came hours after the release of a report by Yahoo Sports that cited anonymous sources linking Calipari to the coaching vacancy with the NBA's Chicago Bulls, who fired Vinny Del Negro on Tuesday.

Calipari, already the highest paid coach in men's college basketball, just completed the first year of an eight-year deal that averages nearly $4 million a season. Kentucky went 35-3 last season, which ended in a 73-66 loss to West Virginia in the East Region finals of the NCAA Tournament.

Calipari tried to brush off the NBA speculation on his Facebook page.

"Every year you will hear my name mentioned for NBA jobs because I coached in the league before," Calipari posted. "I'm very happy at Kentucky."

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader