Should Memphis Fans Be Upset At John Calipari?
Should Memphis fans really be bitter at Calipari? While it's certainly understandable in a way, it really doesn't make a ton of sense. Every fan feels upset when a local favorite leaves town, especially when it seems like they're on top of their game, and poised for greatness, as Calipari was as he left Memphis.
On the other hand, he took a program that was 45-43 over 3 years under the previous 2 coaches, and was in jeopardy of fading into obscurity. He took them from being an average team to being a consistent championship contender. In 9 years, he won more games than any other coach in team history, and also had the highest winning percentage of any coach in school history.
Sure, he's leaving for more money and a glamour job at Kentucky. Yeah, he's taking some of the prized recruits that Memphis fans were excited to see next season. Sure, the program will likely be a shell of its former self for a couple years.
But in the end, John Calipari did something that almost anyone else in the world would have done, if they were in his position. Kentucky is the Holy Grail of college backetball coaching jobs. The list of NCAA basketball coaches who would pass up the chance to coach at Kentucky is a very short one, especially for the money that UK was offering. Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Calhoun and probably Bill Self wouldn't leave their teams for anything. But every other coach in the country, no matter what they say, would at the very least, think long and hard about coaching at the University of Kentucky.
John Calipari did a lot for Memphis. And while it hurts that he's gone, they should never forget what he did for the program, and how much he meant to the school for the better part of a decade. Go ahead and be upset that he's leaving. Mourn his departure like the loss of a good friend. But don't hate him for it.
Calipari receives lukewarm reception at charity fundraiser [Commercial Appeal]
Coach Cal Returns To Memphis - With Bodyguards [SportsByBrooks]