UK Football

Kentucky extends Calipari, Stoops contracts two more years

Kentucky’s two most high-profile coaches, John Calipari and Mark Stoops, have both agreed to two-year contract extensions, the school announced Wednesday.

The Calipari amendment extends his deal from March 30, 2022, to March 30, 2024, according to a release from UK Athletics. The men’s basketball coach’s total guaranteed compensation, including base salary, media/endorsement payments and retention bonuses will be $8 million for the amended term.

“John has achieved consistent championship-level performance at Kentucky,” UK Athletics Director Mitch Barnhart said in the news release. “No one in America is better suited for everything that comes with being the coach here. Not only has he attained incredible success on the court, he is also a leader in our community and in college basketball.”

Calipari is in his eighth season as Kentucky’s head coach. Under his leadership, the Wildcats will make their sixth appearance in the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 on Friday vs. UCLA.

UK swept the Southeastern Conference regular-season and tournament championships in 2016-17, giving Calipari 29 combined regular-season and tournament conference titles in his career. That total ranks second among active coaches. Calipari has also guided UK to four appearances in the Final Four, including the 2012 national championship.

“The last eight years at the University of Kentucky have been a terrific ride,” Calipari said in the release. “This extension shows our full commitment to each other. I believe this school is the gold standard and I’m so thankful and blessed that this university has given me this opportunity at this point in my career.”

It is the fifth amendment to Calipari’s contract in his time at Kentucky, which started in 2009.

Aside from the aforementioned extension, there is a mandated compensation review in Calipari’s contract for June of 2022. At that time, UK’s athletics director and the head coach will hold a meeting and review market conditions of other coaches nationally. If his salary is deemed no longer comparable, a new amendment will be negotiated.

UK women’s basketball coach Matthew Mitchell has a similar compensation review in his deal, which was supposed to take place last May. It likely will happen in the coming weeks now that the season is over, a school spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

The only incentive included in Calipari’s contract is related to the performance of his team in the Academic Progress Rate, a metric used by the NCAA to measure academic eligibility, retention and graduation. The new amendment increases the threshold for the bonus ($50,000) from a 950 APR to a 975, beginning with next season.

Calipari’s team earned a perfect 1,000 APR in the 2014-15 academic year, the most recent announced by the NCAA.

Should UK terminate the agreement with Calipari, it will pay him $5 million per year left on the contract.

The amendment to Stoops’ contract included much more significant changes than just a two-year extension, taking him from June 30, 2020, to June 30, 2022. Stoops’ new deal provides for total guaranteed compensation of $3.5 million for the current year. The total increases $250,000 in each successive year, including the two years added as part of this amendment.

Stoops led Kentucky to its first bowl game since the 2010 season in 2016, taking the Wildcats to the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

“When we came here, doing a rebuild in a challenging situation, I said that full support from everyone involved was imperative and we have always received that,” Stoops said in the release. “We needed great commitment, we’ve had great commitment and we’re continuing to get great commitment.”

Jennifer Smith: 859-231-3241, @jenheraldleader

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