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Sunday, March 25, 2007

Calipari "I Have No Interest In Another Job"

Cal: 'I have no interest in another job'
Coach mentioned in reports on Kentucky

By Dan Wolken
March 25, 2007

SAN ANTONIO -- John Calipari could have dodged the question. Instead, he was emphatic.

Asked how he would handle phone calls this offseason from schools that might be seeking a new head coach, Calipari gave an answer that could provide some comfort to University of Memphis fans.

"I have no interest in another job," Calipari said, moments after the Tigers were eliminated by Ohio State in the Elite Eight. "I'm coaching the University of Memphis. It's where I want to coach. (Athletic director R.C. Johnson) and I will probably meet tomorrow. I don't have any interest in any other job."

Ever since Tubby Smith resigned as coach at Kentucky on Thursday to take over the Minnesota program, Calipari's name has been mentioned among the potential candidates in nearly every published report.

Calipari refused to directly address questions about job openings Thursday or Friday while the Tigers were still playing. But Saturday, for the first time, he publicly talked about the idea that leaving Memphis would mean leaving a team that should once again contend for a national title.

The Tigers lose just one scholarship senior, Jeremy Hunt, but will be bringing in the nation's top point guard recruit, Derrick Rose, as well as highly rated shooting guard Jeff Robinson. Shawn Taggart, a 6-11 transfer from Iowa State, will become eligible, giving Memphis another legitimate big man.

And if anybody off the current roster leaves or transfers, Memphis could bring in twins Marcus and Markieff Morris, who will go to prep school otherwise.

"I have no interest in any other job, and we've got a good thing going," Calipari said. "Truth be told, there are probably better jobs than Memphis. Would you all say? Yes there are. But there may not be a better team than the one I'm going to have for the next couple years, and you don't leave that unless the commitment changes, unless it's not there.

"This school is committed. What I said before, if this program can continue to get this state actively involved in making this a great institution it's going to be fun, and that means our time here was well spent because it left a legacy."

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