LEXINGTON, Ky. — John Calipari agreed Tuesday to leave Memphis and become Kentucky's coach, with a record deal that eclipses Billy Donovan's $3.5 million yearly salary at Florida.
Calipari gets a reported $35 million, including a $2.5 million signing bonus, over eight years.
Andy Katz of ESPN.com reported Tuesday evening that he received this text message from Calipari: "I am accepting the UK job! Go Big Blue, coach Cal."
Calipari, 50, is 445-140 in 17 seasons. He sought advice from ex-Kentucky coaches; Joe B. Hall said they talked about how to handle a prestigious and scrutinized job.
Rick Pitino, the coach at rival Louisville who has feuded with Calipari, never made more than $2 million a season at Kentucky.
Calipari had a monster recruiting class coming to Memphis, but could take many of those players to Kentucky. Xavier Henry said he would re-open his recruitment.
Kentucky paid Memphis a $200,000 buyout.
NIT: Baylor, Penn St. reach title game
NEW YORK — Curtis Jerrells scored 25 as Baylor beat San Diego State 76-62 at Madison Square Garden, and Penn State held off Notre Dame 67-59 in the semifinals. Baylor and Penn State meet Thursday for the title.
The Bears (24-14) matched the 1947-48 team that lost in the national title game for the second-most wins in school history.
Joe Paterno cheered on the Nittany Lions (26-11), who held Luke Harangody to 5-for-16 shooting and 17 points.
uf assistant to vcu: Florida assistant Shaka Smart will be named coach at Virginia Commonwealth, the Associated Press reported, with an announcement planned Thursday. Smart, 32, has never been a head coach. Anthony Grant, also a former UF assistant, left for Alabama.
MISSOURI: Mike Anderson, mentioned for coaching vacancies at Georgia and Memphis, agreed to a seven-year contract to remain.
Purdue: Center JaJuan Johnson, an All-Big Ten selection, will return for his junior season.
Virginia: New coach Tony Bennett will earn $1.7 million annually for five years.