Calipari signs contract extension with Memphis

Updated: April 26, 2008, 5:12 PM ET
Associated Press

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis coach John Calipari signed a contract extension through the 2012-13 season that includes an annual raise of $500,000 and a $5 million bonus if he stays through the end of the contract.

Calipari's new contract will pay him $2.35 million per year.

Calipari took the Tigers to the national championship game this year, the program's first Final Four since 1985 and first NCAA final since 1973. Memphis lost 75-68 in overtime to Kansas.

Calipari said the offer was made a month ago, but recruiting and other duties kept him too busy to sign the deal. He said other schools used that against him by implying he was still looking at other jobs.

"What this contract has done is wiped out 99 percent of that stuff, and I told them that I appreciate that. It's not only the base salary, but it's also the longevity bonus which wipes out the others. There are no other places. This is the place," Calipari said Saturday at a news conference.

The Tigers had an NCAA Division I record 38 wins this season and captured their third straight Conference USA regular season and tournament titles. Calipari won his second Naismith National coach of the year award, joining Mike Krzyzewski of Duke as the only coaches to win more than once.

His Tigers are 104-10 over the past three seasons, tied for most victories in a three-year stretch in NCAA Division I history.

Calipari will have to virtually start from scratch next season. All five of the starters from this year's team are testing themselves in the NBA draft, and Calipari is confident freshman point guard Derrick Rose, junior All-American Chris Douglas-Roberts and senior Joey Dorsey should hear their names called.

"One of them may be the top pick the draft, another may be in the top 15 and the other may be taken in the 20s. If you look at our staff, they all got jobs. So from all of this we all have benefited," Calipari said.

Athletic director R.C. Johnson said he was excited to get the deal signed, and acknowledged there were some nervous moments the last few weeks.

"You always worry about everyone in your department. Obviously, John is a much higher profile coach or else you all wouldn't be here today," Johnson said. "We had a great year in Tiger athletics, and we have a great staff so you always worry about trying to get everyone back. When you have success, people tend to move on and get offers."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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