Kentucky gives Calipari 7-year, $52.5 million deal

GARY B. GRAVES (AP Sports Writer)
The Associated Press
Kentucky gives Calipari 7-year, $52.5 million deal
Kentucky head coach John Calipari directs his team during the first half of the NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball championship game against Connecticut Monday, April 7, 2014, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- Kentucky gave coach John Calipari a new seven-year, $52.5 million contract that will pay a base package of $6.5 million next season and $8 million over each of the final three seasons.

Already one of college basketball's highest-paid coaches, Calipari led the Wildcats to the 2012 NCAA championship and is coming off his third Final Four appearance in five years with Kentucky, a 60-54 title-game loss to Connecticut in April. He has often been rumored as a potential candidate for NBA coaching openings, most recently this spring with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Calipari quickly reiterated his happiness with Kentucky, later using social media to state his commitment after Los Angeles fired coach Mike D'Antoni.