Watch out now, but John Calipari is quickly trying to become the next Coach K. Sure the wins aren’t there yet, and neither are the titles, but in terms of helping former players/aspiring coaches get a start in the profession, right now there is no one better than Cal.
After having Rod Strickland as an assistant in Memphis where he got his start making $12,000, Calipari confirmed yesterday that he will hire former Kentucky stars Tony Delk and Scott Padgett to his staff, each being slated for entry-level jobs that do not include on-court coaching.
“I want people to know we’re trying to get them started in their careers,” Calipari said.
Calipari noted his own humble beginnings as a volunteer coach at Kansas in the 1980s. One of his jobs was to serve food at the training tables. He recalled asking Carl Henry, coincidentally the father of highly regarded prospect Xavier Henry, whether he wanted peas or corn.
Now sitting as the head coach of college basketball’s winningest program, Cal basically has the keys to a Bentley is letting some former college/NBA stars give it a test drive.
Calipari said fans should not be surprised if some of his former players at UMass and Memphis come to Kentucky to start their coaching careers, so I have my fingers crossed to see Lou Roe, Donte Bright, Dana Dingle and Carmelo Travieso get off the couch and hit the court.