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By LARRY VAUGHT
After watching the second part of UK’s all-access show on ESPN after I got h0me from Wednesday’s Blue-White game, it reminded me of some things Kentucky coach John Calipari said at Media Day about why he did not feel he did anything that special by winning a national title.
“No, what I’ve accomplished is helping prepare young people. This job I’m in now, I don’t even think I’m in the basketball business anymore. I’m in the business of helping families. It’s incredible. We’ve had 15 draft picks, seven players drafted. We’re teaching people how to be men, how to be fathers, how to go on. Our kids have gone on and done well in a short period of time.
“This Kentucky effect is there and it’s real. So now you’re in the business of helping families break generational cycles. We’ve had probably 45 to 50 kids get college degrees during my time as a head coach. I’m guessing 80 percent of them are the first college educated in their families.
“You may say, well, how many of them are lawyers and doctors? Probably not many. But when I grew up, I was the first college educated in my family. I could not think about being a lawyer or a doctor. I was going to be a high school coach. Teach high school English. Then I went and did the college thing, and the NBA, and they fired me, and I came back. But my daughter’s going to be a doctor. In two years, Erin will be a doctor.
“Well, that’s how this is supposed to work. How about generational cycle of poverty? Senator Mitch McConnell said to me, How many are leaving last year? Said six more. He said, “You’re creating more millionaires than a wall street firm.” And I went, wow, we are.
” So when you say that to me, when I hug my wife, I’m saying ‑‑ when I hugged her on the court I said now my friends and family don’t have to argue, and we can get on to the business of coaching young people, because that’s what mattered more for my high school coach and my college coach. He should have won national titles at Memphis and Massachusetts. Everybody wins there. Why hasn’t he won any national titles? And then arguing stupid stuff.
“So now before the game they said how does it feel to be known as the best coach never to win a national title? Is that a compliment? What is that? Then after the game a guy came up and said how does it feel to be the worst coach to win a national title?”