User Tools

Site Tools


John Calipari

  • Head Coach
  • Seasons: 1988-89 through 1995-96
  • Birthdate: February 10, 1959

Coaching - at UMass

UMass (Head Coach, 1988-96)

  • One of the best coaches in program history, putting UMass into the national spotlight
  • Ranks first in win percentage at UMass (.731)
  • Ranks second in total wins (193) to Jack Leaman (217)
  • Brought Minutemen back to NCAA Tournament in 1992 after 30 year absence
  • Led Minutemen to first-ever national #1 ranking in 1994
  • Faced three teams ranked #1, beat them all (1993 North Carolina, 1994 Arkansas, 1995 Kentucky)
  • Coached three Atlantic 10 Players of the Year (Harper Williams 1992, Lou Roe 1995, Marcus Camby 1996)
  • Led Minutemen to five consecutive Atlantic 10 titles, both Regular Season and Tournament, 1992-96
  • Three-time Atlantic Ten Coach of the Year (1993, 1994, 1996)
  • 1995-96: Named Naismith Coach of the Year and The Sporting News National Coach of the Year
  • Inducted into the UMass Athletic Hall of Fame1)
  • A banner commemorating his 193 wins was raised in the Mullins Center in 20152)3)4)5) Pictures

Head Coaching Record

SeasonOverallWin %ConfWin %PlacePost-Season
1989-9017-14.54810-8.5566thNIT First Round
1990-9120-13.60610-8.5565thNIT Semi-Finals (4th place)
1991-9230-5.85713-3.8131stNCAA Sweet Sixteen
1992-9324-7.77411-3.7861stNCAA Second Round (Round of 32)
1993-9428-7.80014-2.8751stNCAA Second Round (Round of 32)
1994-9529-5.85313-3.8131stNCAA Elite Eight
1995-96*35-2.94615-1.9381stNCAA Final Four

* 1995-96 notes: NCAA Tournament appearance was vacated by the NCAA for use of an ineligible student athlete (Marcus Camby). The NCAA no longer recognizes the school’s tournament appearance or its 4-1 record in tournament games that season. Calipari was cleared of any personal culpability.6)


Coaching - elsewhere

Kentucky (Head Coach, 2009-present)

Memphis (Head Coach, 2000-09)

  • Reached NCAA Championship Game in 2007-08 season*
  • Five other NCAA Tournament appearances (One 1st Round, one 2nd Round, one Sweet Sixteen, two Elite Eights)
  • Seven Conference USA regular-season titles
  • Four Conference USA tournament titles
  • One NIT Championship and two other NIT Final Fours
  • Coached against UMass (and Derek Kellogg) in the 2008-09 season opener. Memphis 80 - UMass 58

* 2007-08 season was vacated by the NCAA due to eligibility issues regarding Derrick Rose. Calipari was cleared of any personal culpability.12)

Philadelphia (NBA) (Assistant Coach, 1999-2000)

New Jersey (NBA) (Head Coach & VP-Basketball Operations, 1996-99)

Pre-UMass (1982-88)

  • Spent three seasons (1985-88) as an assistant coach at Pittsburgh.
  • Worked on staff at Kansas for coach Larry Brown.
  • Had brief stint with Vermont as recruiting coordinator.13)
  • After finishing at Clarion State, Calipari started as a volunteer assistant at Kansas for coach Ted Owens.

College Basketball (Player)

  • Scholarship player for two seasons at UNC-Wilmington,14) then transferred to Clarion State.
  • Played in 19 of Clarion's 29 games in 1980-81, averaging 3.1 points and 2.6 assists per game.15) As a senior in 1981-82, played in all 27 games, and led the team in assists (143, 5.3 per game) and free throw percentage (.717).16)
  • Clarion named their basketball floor Coach Cal Court in September 2021.17)18)

Feuds with John Chaney

While the coach of UMass, Calipari seemed to regularly get into feuds with Temple coach John Chaney.

  • Calipari first witnessed Chaney's intensity while Calipari was a player at Clarion State, and Chaney was a coach at Cheney State. Chaney and Clarion coach Joe DeGregorio got into an altercation during a game.19)
  • While a recruiter at Pitt, Calipari got Philly prospect Brian Shorter to commit to Pitt and sidestep Chaney and Temple.20)21)
  • 2/11/1990: Temple prevails in 3 overtimes at The Cage. Calipari and Chaney scuffle on the sideline after a bad call.
  • 2/13/1994: During Calipari's post-game press conference, Chaney interrupts, threatens to kill Calipari in front of journalists, and charges at him.22) Video of the altercation.


  • Daughters Erin and Megan attended UMass.23)24) Erin played on the Minutewomen basketball team as a walk-on.25)
  • Son Brad was a walk-on for Kentucky basketball for two seasons before playing one more year at Detroit Mercy26)27)


  • “There are times I get mad and want to strangle somebody, and then I go to Mass and say, Stop me from having this feeling that I want to absolutely punch this guy in the face.”28)
calipari_john.txt · Last modified: 2023/01/03 19:52 by mikeuma