“They’re Exactly What You Want in a Fan”: Arkansas HC John Calipari Doesn’t Blame Fans for Pressure to Leave Kentucky Job.

Arkansas coach John Calipari discussed his departure from the Kentucky Wildcats on “The Dan Patrick Show” on Wednesday, addressing several narratives surrounding his move.

Over two months ago, Calipari made a surprising switch to Arkansas after a 15-year stint at Kentucky. He clarified that the decision wasn’t influenced by fan pressure. When asked if he felt pushed out, the Hall of Fame coach responded:

“Kentucky fans are engaged. They are exactly what you want in a fan until you lose a game you’re not supposed to lose. And they’re still engaged, so it had nothing to do with that. For me to do what I am doing, I needed that tailwind, no headwinds.

“And, you know, as far as saying, ‘Well, they pushed you out.’ Now, I don’t think that was the case, but again, let it be good for both. I mean, I had 15 great years there, let Mark Pope have 15 great years. Let me finish how I want to finish, let me build another program. Let me win another national championship. Let’s help another 25 families. Let me do this.”

Why Did John Calipari Choose Arkansas?

While Calipari didn’t initially plan the move to Arkansas, he saw it as a valuable opportunity, particularly because it allowed him to work with his son, Brad Calipari, who joined Arkansas in May as an assistant coach and the director of on-court player development after two years at Vanderbilt.

Arkansas, an SEC team, boasts outstanding facilities, a 20,000-seat arena, and a passionate fanbase. The upcoming season’s matchup between Arkansas and Kentucky is highly anticipated, raising questions about Calipari’s performance with his new team.