John Calipari officially named Arkansas basketball coach following 15 years at Kentucky

LEXINGTON — More than 48 hours of rumor and speculation turned into reality Wednesday: John Calipari is Arkansas' new coach.

The school announced Calipari's hire Wednesday morning. He replaces Eric Musselman, who left to become Southern Cal's coach last week. Calipari will be officially introduced as the Razorbacks' next coach at 7 p.m. EDT Wednesday at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

“By all accounts, John Calipari is one of the premier coaches in college basketball,” Arkansas athletics director Hunter Yurachek said in a statement. “A national championship coach, a four-time national coach of the year and one of the nation’s top recruiters, Coach Cal has consistently demonstrated his ability to attract outstanding talent and build championship teams within the Southeastern Conference and position his programs among the best in the nation.

“As I visited with Coach Calipari during this process, he acknowledged the tremendous opportunity we have at the University of Arkansas to attract and retain top players and compete for championships. He understands the deep passion of the Razorback Nation and has experienced the tremendous home court advantage of Bud Walton Arena. I have no doubt that under Coach Calipari’s leadership and with the collective support of all those who love the Hogs, Razorback Basketball will continue to maintain its national prominence within college basketball.”

Calipari's hire at Arkansas came one day after his 15-year stint at Kentucky ended. Calipari bid farewell to the Wildcats on Tuesday in a video posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. In the video, Calipari acknowledged it was time for "another voice" to lead UK's program.

He had been that voice longer than any Kentucky coach aside from Adolph Rupp, the legendary figure who presided over the program from 1930 through 1972.

Calipari went 410-123 (.769) with the Wildcats, winning the national championship in 2012, earning national runner-up honors in 2014 and advancing to the Final Four two other times (2011 and 2015). He also collected six SEC Tournament titles and won the league's regular-season championship six times (sharing it once; Texas A&M in 2015-16).

Calipari departed Lexington ranked second in program history (to Rupp) in overall victories, Final Four appearances, SEC regular-season championships and conference tournament titles.

Calipari boasts an on-court record of 855-263 (.765) in 32 seasons as a college coach. (The NCAA recognizes Calipari's record as 813-261 after it vacated his 38-2 season at Memphis during the 2007-08 campaign.) Calipari also was an NBA head coach for three seasons, guiding the New Jersey Nets from 1996 to 1998, compiling a mark of 72-112 (.391).

Reach Kentucky men’s basketball and football reporter Ryan Black at and follow him on X at @RyanABlack.

This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: John Calipari to Arkansas official; Kentucky coaching search ongoing