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Coach Calipari to be honored with Jefferson Award for Public Service in Sports

Posted at 11:40 AM, Aug 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-31 11:40:30-04

NEW YORK (BBN TONIGHT) — Kentucky men's basketball head coach John Calipari will receive the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Public Service by Multiplying Good in early November.

“I am humbled to be recognized in this way,” Calipari said. “As I look back at my career in basketball and serving the community, things like this will matter to me more than any other award or recognition.”

The award honors those "who put others first."

"Those receiving the Jefferson Award are empowered to do more, while their stories of extraordinary public service inspire others to action. It is an award that underscores impact."

Calipari is one of just two coaches to win Naismith Coach of the Year three times, and with an 810-241 on-court record, he ranks among the top 10 in all-time Division I victories.

Multiply Good shares the criteria needed to be honored with the Jefferson Award: draw attention to a cause, provide immediate needs or generate lasting impact.

"Much of what he does remains private, but these are a few public initiatives he’s been involved with:

  • Five telethons – Along with his teams, he’s raised more than $12 million with the American Red Cross to assist aid for the 2010 Haitian earthquake, 2012 Superstorm Sandy, 2017 Hurricane Harvey, 2021 tornadoes in western Kentucky and 2022 flooding in eastern Kentucky.
  • In 2012, launched The Calipari Foundation, which has worked with several key partners over the years, including partnering with his Fantasy Camp experience which has generated millions of dollars and includes matching funds for more than 30 charities since its inception.
  • In 2019, when Lexington federal workers were without pay due to a government shutdown, he and his wife assisted those families with financial help and grocery gift cards. He said at the time that nothing was more fulfilling than meeting the families who were being helped.
  • During the COVID-19 pandemic when students were learning remotely, he partnered with Fayette County Public Schools and its breakfast program to help families in need by delivering meals to participating schools and sometimes directly to families at their home.
  • He is most proud of the creation of the McClendon Minority Leadership Initiative in 2020. It is a coach-driven initiative to provide access and opportunity for men and women of color within college athletic departments across the country."

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