John Calipari goes off: 'Every coach in the country, put it in your contract'

Posted by: Chris Vannini on Sunday February 19, 2017

Kentucky basketball won a narrow one at Georgia on Saturday night, and John Calipari went on a mini rant about the coaching profession afterward.

Calipari defended Georgia head coach Mark Fox against fans calling for a change, and he also expressed frustration over NC State dismissing head coach Mark Gottfried earlier this week, though Gottfried will finish the season.

Calipari started on Fox, whose team is 15-12 this year.

“Here’s what bothers me about this profession right now," Calipari began. "Mark, he goes to Florida, overtime, should’ve won the game. Comes to us, overtime, should’ve won the game. We were lucky to win. He loses at Texas A&M because the clock stalled, that’s why he loses. But he keeps his team together. That’s coaching. Not when things are going good. It’s when things go south and you lose a bunch in a row, how do you get them and go? He goes to Tennessee, down 10, wins the game. Mississippi State, played pretty good. … Then they do this to us, without (injured UGA forward Yante) Maten. That’s what kind of coach Mark Fox is.

“‘Well we all want to win more.’ No kidding. Live in my shoes. You want to win more? We've gotta win by 25 or we got problems. We win by two or in overtime, people are jumping off bridges. We all want to win, but it’s about what kind of coach he is, what kind of man he is.”

Calipari then turned to Gottfried and the idea of dismissing a coach during the season. It’s become common in football, but not basketball.

“We’re firing coaches in midseason. Are you sh***ing me?” Calipai said. “We’re firing coaches in midseason. You know what I’m putting my contract? You can fire me at midseason, but you’re going to have to pay me $3 million. Oh, you’ll let me stay now, won’t you? There’s a new one that’s going to be in the contract. You can fire me midseason, but you’re paying me. Why would I even have to think of that?

Every coach in the country: Put in in your contract. What if Mark Gottfried goes on a run at the end and gets to the NCAA Tournament, which he was in four out of five years, two Sweet 16s, which is not done at NC State? What happens if he now if he goes and wins and gets another team (in the tournament)? He had good players, but they’re young, they’re like my team. It’s hard to do this with young guys."

NC State is 14-14 this season, losers of seven straight. A 24-point home loss to North Carolina was the final game before the school made a change. Fox’s Georgia team is 15-12 this year. He’s made the tournament twice in eight years.

Chris Vannini is in his fifth year with and serves as its managing editor. He has previously written for the Detroit Free Press, The Oakland Press, The State News,, 247Sports and SB Nation.  A graduate of Michigan State University, Chris now lives in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  Be sure to follow @coachingsearch and send emails to