REPORTS: John Calipari leaving Kentucky to become Arkansas head coach

According to multiple media reports, John Calipari is finalizing a deal to be the new head coach at Arkansas. This has been a wild coaching search for Arkansas, who saw Eric Musselman leave for USC just three days ago. AD Hunter Yurachek seemed to have missed out on his first two targets – Ole Miss’ Chris Beard and Kansas State’s Jerome Tang – but has sent shockwaves through the college basketball world by pulling Calipari from Lexington.

Calipari has been subject of much scrutiny amongst the Kentucky fanbase over the past several years, as he continues to bring in NBA-level talent but has not been a serious player in March since 2019 (arguably since 2015). The Wildcats lost in the first or second round in each of the last three NCAA Tournaments and missed the Big Dance completely in 2021.

But calls for his firing have not advanced beyond fan frustration, as his contract stipulates a massive buyout ($33 million if it were to happen this offseason). Conversely, Cal won’t owe the school anything if he leaves for another job.

UPDATE 4/10: Arkansas has made it official