Last Updated: May 7, 2024
Richest AthletesNBA Players
Net Worth:
$45 Million
$9 Million
Feb 10, 1959 (65 years old)
6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Basketball Coach
United States of America
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What is John Calipari's Net Worth and Salary?

John Calipari is an American college basketball coach who has a net worth of $45 million. John Calipari has had a long and successful career as a college basketball coach. He coached for the University of Kentucky from 2009 to 2024. Prior to this, Calipari coached teams at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Memphis. He also served as the head coach of the New Jersey Jets in the NBA for three seasons, from 1996 to 1998. In 2024, he became the head coach for the University of Arkansas.

Calipari has a long history of leading university teams to the "Final Fours," which refers to the last four teams standing in the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championships. Although John has been accused of cheating and various controversies, he has been cleared of all wrongdoing. He is one of the highest-ranked NCAA Division I coaches in terms of his overall win ratio. In addition, John has written many books about basketball and was the subject of an ESPN documentary.

Contracts and Salary

From 2009 to 2019, John Calipari's base salary was $6.5 million. In June of 2019, he signed a 10-year, $86-million contract extension that comes with an average salary of $9 million. Starting six years into the deal (2024), John had the option to step down as coach and take an advising job at the University of Kentucky (read "cushy desk job") that would have come with a $950,000 annual salary. He ultimately chose to step down and take another coaching job at Arkansas.

Early Life

John Vincent Calipari was born on February 10, 1959, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania. Raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh in an Italian family, Calipari graduated from high school in 1978. To this day, John holds dual Italian and U.S. citizenship. During his high school years, he played basketball as a point guard. He then spent two years at UNC Wilmington before playing point guard once again for the University of Pennsylvania. During this period, he led the team in assists and free-throw percentage. John eventually graduated with a bachelor's degree in marketing.


John Calipari started his coaching career in the early to mid-80s at the University of Kansas. He started as the "lowest coach in the pecking order," initially not doing much more than serving food at the training table and conducting other basic tasks. By the late 80s, he was serving as an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh under Roy Chipman and Roy Evans. Starting in 1988, he won his appointment as head coach at the University of Massachusetts.

During his time as head coach of the Minutemen, Calipari led the team to five consecutive Atlantic 10 titles and NCAA Tournament appearances. During this period, John won numerous honors and awards – mostly in recognition of the fact that he was "overachieving" with a team of rather ordinary players. He focused on creating a system whereby these players could still excel despite their limitations. During this period, he also created the "Platoon Offense" system.

After proving himself with the Minutemen, Calipari accepted a position as head coach of the New Jersey Jets in the NBA. Despite some notable controversies, the Nets performed well under John's early guidance – particularly during the 1997-98 season when they qualified for the playoffs. However, he was fired during the 1998-99 season due to disappointing results.

John returned to college ball in 2000, accepting the role of head coach at the University of Memphis. During this period, he popularized the "dribble drive" motion offense initially invented by Vance Walberg. Calipari's tenure at Memphis was excellent, and he led the Tigers to a number-one ranking for the second time in the school's history. In 2009, he was appointed as the head coach of the University of Kentucky. During this period, he led the team to numerous titles.


John married his wife Ellen in 1986. They have had two daughters and a son together.


Perhaps the biggest scandal of Calipari's career was his much-publicized feud with fellow coach John Chaney. Chaney famously threatened to end John's life in a post-game conference, interrupting Calipari while he was speaking. Chaney accused Calipari of manipulating referees, and he also insulted John's Italian heritage. He then threatened John and attempted to charge onto the stage, but he was held back by security. Despite this incredible incident, Chaney and Calipari reconciled.

Real Estate

In 2009, it was reported that Calipari had made a number of real estate transactions. When he accepted the position of head coach at the University of Kentucky, John purchased a home in Lexington for about $2.2 million. He also purchased a vacant lot next door, which was valued at over $500,000 at the time. The assumption was that he intended to expand into this vacant lot. That being said, the home itself already offered a ton of living space – 10,000 square feet of it, to be exact. In addition, the garage alone offers 1,000 square feet and enough room for three automobiles. Additional features include seven bedrooms, a stone fireplace, and a sunroom with floor-to-ceiling windows. He listed the combined property for sale in May 2024 for $4 million.

In 2009, John also sold his longtime home in Memphis for $1.425 million. He had originally purchased the residence back in 2000 for $1.495 million, which means he accepted a loss of about $70,000. The residence spans almost 7,000 square feet of living space, and it sits on 1.26 acres of land in a gated community near the Galloway Golf Course. Notable features include a basketball/tennis court.

All net worths are calculated using data drawn from public sources. When provided, we also incorporate private tips and feedback received from the celebrities or their representatives. While we work diligently to ensure that our numbers are as accurate as possible, unless otherwise indicated they are only estimates. We welcome all corrections and feedback using the button below.
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