Kentucky coach war: Mark Stoops takes offense to John Calipari’s comments

Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops was displeased with comments made by basketball coach John Calipari on Thursday when the latter publicly insisted his program needs a new practice facility.

Calipari pointed to Kentucky’s reputation as a basketball program for why the university should replace the 15-year-old Joe Craft Center. And he pointed out that the football program just had a $200 million facility built.

Calipari made it clear he feels that Kentucky basketball should always be a bigger priority than Kentucky football.

“And the reason is, this is a basketball school. It’s always been that,” Calipari told The Athletic while in the Bahamas for a preseason exhibition tour. “Alabama is a football school. So is Georgia. I mean, they are.

“No disrespect to our football team. I hope they win 10 games and go to bowls. At the end of the day, that makes my job easier and it makes the job of all of us easier. But this is a basketball school.”

Stoops saw the remarks and quickly replied on Twitter.

“Basketball school? I thought we competed in the SEC? #4straightpostseasonwins”

Stoops guided the Wildcats to a 10-3 season last year, his second 10-win campaign in the past four seasons. The football program is 33-17 during the stretch.

The bowl winning streak consists of wins over Penn State (Citrus), Virginia Tech (Belk), North Carolina State (Gator) and Iowa (Citrus) last season.

Calipari won the national championship in the 2011-12 season but the basketball program hasn’t won an NCAA Tournament game since 2019.

There was no tourney in 2020 due to COVID-19, the Wildcats missed with a shaky 9-16 record in 2021 and were ushered out of the first round by 15th-seeded Saint Peter’s last season.