John Calipari, University of Kentucky basketball coach (#433)
University of Kentucky men’s basketball coach John Calipari discusses the highs and lows of his career, his new job, and his book, Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and in Life. The program was taped at the Joe Craft Center on the UK campus.
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John Calipari talks about his childhood in Moon Township, Penn., where he served as ball boy for the high school basketball team while he was in elementary school. It was during that time, he says, that he began dreaming of becoming a high school basketball coach and teacher.
A first-generation college student, Calipari played basketball at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and Clarion University of Pennsylvania. He discusses his college experiences on and off the court, including playing while wearing a wrestling mask to protect a broken cheekbone and renting mobile homes to his fellow students.
Calipari also discusses some of the key points in Bounce Back. He explains how he stays positive and focused on moving forward through difficult times, such as the recent sanctions imposed on Memphis for violations while he was head coach there. One coping strategy he uses is consulting his “kitchen cabinet,” a network of close friends who he says provide advice without glossing over the truth.
Finally, Calipari talks about his experiences in Kentucky so far and why traveling around the Commonwealth often reminds him of his hometown.