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A look at Coach Calipari’s 15 seasons by the numbers

With mumblings that John Calipari is resigning from his post as UK’s men’s basketball head coach, we’re taking a look back at his tenure with the Wildcats.

Four people sit at a broadcasting booth during a UK basketball game, including Coach John Calipari, who is wearing a headset with a microphone attached.

After 15 seasons with the Wildcats, John Calipari is in talks to take over as Arkansas’ coach. | Photo courtesy of UK Athletics

With 15 seasons under his belt, Coach John Calipari is in talks to resign from his role with the UK Wildcats and take over the Arkansas Razorbacks.

In 2009, Calipari became UK’s head basketball coach in a move that would single-handedly redefine the program, and arguably all of college basketball. To commemorate his time, we’re taking a look back at his accomplishments during his tenure.

SEC Championships

The SEC men’s teams have historically made their presence known in the world of college basketball — and UK is no different. UK won six SEC championship titles during Calipari’s time, including a three-year consecutive streak.

  • 2009-2010
  • 2010-2011
  • 2014-2015
  • 2015-2016
  • 2016-2017
  • 2017-2018
LEX_UKMBB_Rupp Arena.JPG

Chris Livingston, a five-star recruit, was drafted to the Milwaukee Bucks after playing one season at UK. | Photo by Chet White of UK Athletics

NCAA tournament appearances

We all know what it means when the students take to State Street. This year alone, the Wildcats broke their own record for the most NCAA Tournament appearances (61) and is second behind Kansas for all-time wins.

Under Calipari, the Wildcats made it to the:

  • Sweet Sixteen in 2018
  • Elite Eight in 2010, 2017, and 2019
  • Final Four in 2011 and 2015
  • Runner-up in 2014
  • Winning the NCAA Championship in 2012

Players drafted into the NBA

Coach Cal’s “one-and-done” method, which sees many young players entering the NBA draft after one season, has been a key characteristic of his time at the school. No matter how you view it, the pipeline of UK players to the NBA has been nothing short of historical. Nearly 50 players have been drafted under Coach Cal, of which 31 were first-round picks. This includes some names you may have heard of like:

  • Anthony Davis
  • John Wall
  • Eric Bledsoe
  • DeMarcus Cousins
  • Devin Booker

...and many more.

Moments in pop culture

Speaking of John Wall, not only was Coach Cal’s time at UK chock full of history-making basketball accomplishments, but its impact on pop culture was also felt with moments like:

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