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Arkansas officially hires Brad Calipari as assistant coach

Jack PIlgrimby:Jack Pilgrim05/26/24

Make that two Caliparis officially on the payroll in Fayetteville — a pretty significant promotion for one.

Brad Calipari, a former Kentucky guard and the son of Coach Cal, has been named an assistant coach at Arkansas while also earning the title of director of on-court player development, the Razorbacks announced. His move to Fayetteville was previously reported, but finally confirmed by the program this week.

Calipari previously spent time working in player development at Vanderbilt and Long Island, earning his first high-major gig under Jerry Stackhouse this past year before he was let go at the conclusion of the season. Looking for a new home, John Calipari made sure he didn’t have to look far — in fact, the two are living together in Fayetteville as their permanent living situations are finalized.

Calipari was the director of on-court player development at Vanderbilt under Stackhouse in 2023-24, helping Erza Manjon and Tyrin Lawrence rank among the top scorers in the SEC while Ven-Allen Lubin was one of the most improved players in the league. Before that, he was the director of player development for Long Island University in Brooklyn under Rod Strickland in 2022-23.

He previously served as a graduate assistant at Kentucky under Coach Cal in 2022 and was a player for the Wildcats his first three seasons of college basketball (2016-19) before closing out his career at Detroit Mercy (2019-21).

Calipari joins a staff that includes Kenny Payne and Chin Coleman as Associate Head Coaches and Chuck Martin and Ronnie Brewer Jr. as Recruiting Coordinators to round out the five-man staff. Among previous staffers in Lexington, Orlando Antigua instead opted to return to Illinois under Brad Underwood while John Welch took his coaching talents with him to Fresno State.

Good on Brad for getting his first real shot in the coaching ranks — even if it’s for a conference rival in Arkansas.

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