Coach John Calipari Speaks to FCBE Students
On Thursday, March 5th, Coach John Calipari spoke to a large gathering of FCBE students
and faculty in the Michael Rose Theater on campus. His inspirational words ranged
from talking about how to recover from life's low points to how to handle making a
living in the current challenging economic environment. All the while he gave examples
that included stories of his own life, his players' lives, and others.
Coach Cal told about his success as the coach at UMass that led to an appearance in
the NCAA Tournament Final Four that led to his appointment as coach of the NBA New
Jersey Nets. But that meteoric rise was followed by his being released by the Nets
after only two seasons. At loose ends, Calipari found help from his friend Larry
Brown of the Philadelphia 76ers, who hired him for his staff, which began a new upward
curve in his life, ultimately resulting in his position at the U of M. The lesson?
Don't be afraid to seek help when you need it. Good people want to be helpful.
Then, Coach Cal asked how many seniors there were in the audience and many hands went
up. He talked about the tough job market they would face and had some advice. He
told about his own experience of offering to be an unpaid, volunteer assistant coach
at Kansas, which was the start of his coaching career. To make some money, he worked
at the training table dishing out food. He told the students not to shy away from
taking jobs that might be lower than their expectations. Once in these jobs, he said,
"Make yourself indispensible," and that this would lead to bigger and better things.
Above all, always, "Stay positive."
Calipari is completing a book with these and many more inspirational stories. Due
out next fall, the book is entitled, Bounce Back: Overcoming Setbacks to Succeed in Business and in Life. Go Tigers!