Big 12 News

Bill Self Endorses John Calipari’s Move to Arkansas

NCAA Basketball: Fort Hays State at Kansas

Legendary head coach John Calipari shocked the college basketball world by leaving Kentucky after spending 15 years with the program.

Bill Self, a 21-year coaching veteran at Kansas, commended Calipari for making the change and even discussed coaches’ shelf lives in one place.


“I actually think I’m happy for him,” Self told The Phog. “You know the shelf life on coaches at one place isn’t 21 years, isn’t 15 years. It’s, at most places, five, seven, eight years. And for him to be in a pressure cooker like that for 15 years, I’m actually happy for him. I hope he does well just not in our experience. And I’m sure Kentucky will hire a great guy, also.”

Kentucky went on to hire BYU head coach Mark Pope after Baylor’s Scott Drew and UConn’s Dan Hurley opted to stick with their current situations rather than take on the job in Lexington. On Friday, April 12th, the decision was made official, making Pope the 23rd coach in Kentucky basketball history.

Bill Self and John Calipari are two of college basketball’s biggest names in the coaching world. While Calipari opted to leave his program and head to a new school, Bill Self appears to be hungrier than ever to field a championship roster in 2024-25.

Pope’s exit from BYU marks the third opening in the Big 12 since the regular season ended, and while the move may not cause any more heartache among fans worried about losing their head coach, the coaching carousel continues to spin.

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