Calipari agrees to extension at Memphis


MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – John Calipari will remain the basketball coach at Memphis after agreeing to a contract extension Wednesday.

Calipari had discussions with North Carolina State about its coaching vacancy and negotiated a raise and extension with Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson.

“Johnson and Calipari reached a verbal agreement on a contract extension, and the paperwork is in the process of being drawn up,” Memphis spokesman spokesman Lamar Chance said.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available. The Commercial Appeal reported Wednesday that Calipari will get a raise from less than $1.1 million to about $1.3 million plus incentives that could make the possible total package about $1.7 million through the 2010-11 season.

Calipari led the Tigers to a top five ranking most of this season and a 33-4 record in his sixth season. His team lost to UCLA 50-45, falling a victory shy of Memphis’ first trip to the Final Four since 1985.

Next season, Calipari loses only Rodney Carney from his starters. Point guard Darius Washington will be a junior while Shawne Williams, if he returns, will be a sophomore along with Antonio Anderson, Kareem Cooper, Chris Roberts-Douglas and Robert Dozier.

Calipari is 148-59 at Memphis, and this season easily was his best in leading the Tigers to their first No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament and both the Conference USA regular-season and tournament titles.

He took over a program coming off consecutive losing seasons and reeling from a coaching resignation just before the 1999-00 season. Memphis has won at least 20 games in each of Calipari’s six seasons. He took the Tigers to the 2002 NIT title, two NIT semifinals and three NCAA berths.

AP-ES-04-12-06 1634EDT