Who is John Tyson, the Arkansas basketball booster reportedly behind John Calipari hire?

When rumors first began circulating Sunday that John Calipari was considering leaving Kentucky basketball for Arkansas, the marriage seemed like an awkward fit.

But the presence of at least one influential Arkansas booster in the discussions suddenly made the connection seem much more plausible.

John Tyson, the grandson of the founder of Arkansas-based Tyson Foods and current chairman of the board for the company, is a longtime friend of Calipari and a major Arkansas athletics supporter. Multiple reports have pointed to Tyson as the driver behind Arkansas’ pursuit of Calipari after the Razorbacks’ open job was reportedly turned down by multiple candidates.

In 2015, Calipari posted a picture to Instagram of himself with Tyson and four other men and the caption, “Some old friends having dinner.” In 2022, Calipari tweeted a picture of himself eating at Herman’s Ribhouse in Fayetteville, Arkansas, noting he was eating there with “longtime friend John Tyson.” During that visit to Herman’s Ribhouse, Calipari was greeted by Arkansas fans “calling the hogs.”

Tyson is actually a graduate of Southern Methodist University, but his father, Don Tyson, attended the University of Arkansas. Forbes estimates Tyson’s net worth at $2.8 billion.

According to his Tyson Foods bio, Tyson has served as the company’s chairman since 1998 and director since 1984. Tyson has worked in the company since he was a teenager.

Kentucky’s John Calipari to Arkansas? Here’s what we know and what could happen next.

John Calipari could be going to Arkansas. What does this mean for UK basketball’s recruits?

Who is next for Kentucky basketball? The list of potential replacements for John Calipari.

The college basketball coaching carousel has been nuts. Here’s what you might have missed.

For at least one night, Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard will be back on the court in Rupp Arena

Alabama and Kentucky had similar profiles. Why is Bama playing while the Wildcats watch?