Calipari awarded Rupp Cup as top coach



By Kevin Erpenbeck

[email protected]

UK head coach John Calipari added another piece of hardware to his trophy case as he was given the Adolph Rupp Cup on Thursday after being named the Adolph Rupp Coach of the Year on April 7.

This is the fifth time this year Calipari was given Coach of the Year honors by an organization. He previously won the Naismith, Sporting News, AP, and the National Association of Basketball Coaches awards.

“Thank you to the Rupp family. Thank you to the Commonwealth Club,” Calipari said. “The stuff that (former UK coach Adolph Rupp) did, for this award to be named after him, that I’m able to be honored with it twice. This is a very meaningful award for me.”

Calipari is the first two-time winner of the Rupp Cup. He previously won it in 2010, his first year at UK as head coach.

The Rupp Coach of the Year award is decided by a Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky voting panel at the end of a season. The panel is made up of national media members, as well as retired and active Division I basketball coaches. Calipari earned 85 percent of the first-place ballots, earning the honor over Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.

Calipari was also named to the 2015 Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame class earlier this month. He will be enshrined in September.

UK won a program-record 38 straight games this season in its pursuit for perfection. The Cats ultimately fell short in the Final Four, however, losing to Wisconsin 71-64.

Calipari spoke about the UK Basketball culture that Rupp built during his time as head coach, giving the late basketball guru credit for the state of the game in Kentucky.

“What he left, the legacy. This state, from east to west, what he did to create. This is incredible,” Calipari said. “And it stays through today. The legacy that you want to leave is that when I’m gone, this thing just continues to go. That’s what this did. It hasn’t changed.”