- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

LEXINGTON, KY. (AP) - Kentucky’s athletics board approved an eight-year, $31.65 million contract on Wednesday that will make John Calipari the highest paid coach in the nation.

The 50-year-old Calipari agreed to terms on Tuesday night to take over college basketball’s winningest program. Calipari is 445-140 in 17 seasons, leading both Memphis and Massachusetts to the Final Four.

Calipari replaces Billy Gillispie, fired last week after two rocky seasons.

Athletic director Mitch Barnhart stressed the need to find a coach who will embrace all the things that come with coaching college basketball’s winningest program.

A news conference is scheduled for Wednesday morning to introduce Calipari.

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