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As 10th season nears, how much longer will Calipari coach?

As 10th season nears, how much longer will Calipari coach?
Published On: Tue, Oct 09
Apr 4, 2015; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach John Calipari during a press conference after the blame against the Wisconsin Badgers in the 2015 NCAA Men's Division I Championship semi-final game at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

It has been fascinating to watchA John Calipari'sA Kentucky coaching career from a spectacular vantage point over these many years.

He barreled into Lexington in 2009 with the vim and vigor of one of his prized athletes, the introductory audience hanging on his every word. He intentionally and brilliantly spoke of the Kentucky legacy, his dribble drive motion and dandelion soup.

But would he, it is fair to ask, attack the job with the same passion season after season as time relentlessly and without apology marches on. The hair thins, the waistline does not. Does the grind finally wear its caretaker to a nub?

And what of success? Would the elusive national championship, won during his third year at UK, dim the fire ever so slightly? Would trips to center stage of the NBA Draft, where his players own the night, become old hat? Would ultimate and cherished validation from his peers a€“ admittance to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2015 a€“ mark the time that closing credits began to roll on Caliparia€™s story?

The conversation a€“ morbid to some, blasphemous to most a€“ percolated to the surface this summer with the realization that Calipari is fast approaching his 10th season as Kentucky coach.

Though only a dozen months removed from nine and a calendar shy of 11, this is one of those anniversaries whose importance is magnified, and its acknowledgement dare not missed, simply because it is a round number. Ten years. A decade. The syllables thunder when spoken.A 

Calipari, for his part, readily admits 10 does ring with added authority for him, reflecting back to a conversation he had early on with former UK coach Joe B. Hall.

a€œI remember asking Coach Hall, a€˜How long a run is this?a€™ And he said, a€™About 10 years,a€™a€ Calipari said. a€œThe life span of a president, an athletic director, this level of coaching ita€™s usually about 10 years. After that stuff gets harder and harder.a€

A picture, they say, is worth a thousand crowa€™s feet.

a€œThe thing that happens is that you still see yourself a certain way until you look in the mirror. Then you say, a€˜What the hell happened there?a€™a€ Calipari said. a€œEverywhere I go I joke, a€˜I want you to go look at the picture of me at the press conference when I first took the job and then look at me now and youa€™ll feel bad for what youa€™ve done to me. All you people.a€™ That is not that long ago. But this is one of those all-encompassing jobs.a€

The grind is real, and ita€™s a formidable adversary. It chewed up Hall over 13 seasons. Tubby Smith looked like Beetle Bailey had angered Sarge when his odometer turned 10 years.

Read the complete news article here...

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