Since University of Kentucky head coach John Calipari signed his lifetime contract, the Wildcats have not won a game past the first weekend of the NCAA Tournament. That is completely unacceptable in Big Blue Nation.

Kentucky Fans Had Had Enough of John Calipari

Forget about the reduced win totals and that abomination of a 2020-2021 season that saw Kentucky finish 9-16, its worst record in a century. That's certainly a black mark on the storied program's illustrious history. No, those post-season results--losing to a 15-seed as a 2-seed in 2022, earning a 6-seed and losing in the second round in 2023, and, finally, losing to a 14-seed as a 3-seed in 2024--increasingly turned Big Blue Nation into Seething Blue Nation.

John Calipari lost the fan base after the first-round loss in this year's tournament. It was just a bridge too far. But there that lifetime contract was with its 33 million dollar buy-out, virtually guaranteeing Cat fans would have to tough out another year.

John Calipari Finalizing a Deal to Coach Arkansas

Well, that's no longer the case. And the first line of this story is now wrong. John Calipari has accepted the head coaching position at the University of Arkansas. Calipari is finalizing a five-year deal to begin leading the Razorbacks in the 2024-2025 season. How's that for a bombshell to shake up the wee hours of Sunday night?

It was always going to have to be this way if it happened. He was never going to be fired; UK would not only have to cough up the $33 million, but they'd also have to fork over the big bucks for the big name they get to replace him.

Who Could Be the Next Head Coach at Kentucky?

And it will be big. It NEEDS to be big. Fans will want Billy Donovan--who won back-to-back titles with Florida--to leave the NBA; they'll want Jay Wright--the Hall-of-Famer also with a pair of natties; they'll want them to keep asking Dan Hurley until they wear him down. (They won't.) Of course, he's busy trying to coach his UConn Huskies to a second consecutive national title on Monday night.

And me? I want either Scott Drew (Baylor); Nate Oats, who just coached THE football school, Alabama, to its first Final Four; or Bruce Pearl (Auburn). Oats just signed a new contract, and Kentucky would have to pay the Crimson Tide $18 million to buy him out, but they can afford that now that they're off the hook with Calipari and don't have to pay him the U.S. mint.

The most volatile off-season coaching carousel I can remember just got way more bonkers.

Pass the popcorn.

LOOK: 50 images of winning moments from sports history

Sometimes images are the best way to honor the figures we've lost. When tragedy swiftly reminds us that sports are far from the most consequential thing in life, we can still look back on an athlete's winning moment that felt larger than life, remaining grateful for their sacrifice on the court and bringing joy to millions.

Read on to explore the full collection of 50 images Stacker compiled showcasing various iconic winning moments in sports history. Covering achievements from a multitude of sports, these images represent stunning personal achievements, team championships, and athletic perseverance.

Gallery Credit: Peter Richman