John Calipari for president? 'I think he'll go into politics. … I'm being dead serious.'

Jerry Tipton, Lexington Herald-Leader on

Published in Basketball

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Here's something you've probably not thought of: President John Calipari. To be clear, that's ... president ... of ... the ... United ... States.

Josh Pastner, who will lead Georgia Tech against Kentucky on Saturday in Rupp Arena, worked for Calipari as an assistant coach one season at Memphis. He said he could see Calipari someday wanting to trade his prominent place in the basketball coaching box for the presidential bully pulpit.

"I think he'll go into politics," Pastner said of Calipari's post-coaching life. "And I would not be surprised at some point he runs for president of the United States.

"You can quote me. I'm being dead serious."

Pondering this hypothetical scenario brought to mind:

Instead of "On, On U of K," Calipari would hear "Hail to the Chief."


No more kid go pro. It would be quid pro quo.

"I really believe one day when he retires, I think he'll end up running for governor or senator," Pastner said. "I think he might even try to be the president of the United States. And I'm being dead serious."

Pastner could not -- or would not -- say if Calipari would make this foray into politics as a Democrat or a Republican.

The UK coach's people skills would serve him well as a politician, said Pastner, who added that Calipari has an exceptional ability as a marketer, is an adept public speaker, exudes charisma and possesses enough fire-in-the-belly energy to make a run.


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