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"If you are a college basketball fan like I am, you'll understand why I've long admired John Calipari's leadership style. While no coach treasures a win more than John, this terrific book reveals his greater purpose - to lead his young players to better lives, and then challenge them to give back to others." - President William J. Clinton In Players First, John Calipari relates for the first time anywhere his experiences over his first four years coaching the Kentucky Wildcats, college basketball's most fabled program, from the doldrums to a national championship, drawing lessons about leadership, character, and the path to personal and collective victory.At its core, Calipari's coaching philosophy centers on keeping his focus on the players - what they need to get the best out of themselves and one another.

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John Calipari

John Vincent Calipari (born February 10, 1959) is an American basketball coach. Since April 2009, he has been the men's head coach at Kentucky. He was the head coach of the Dominican Republic national team in 2011 and 2012. Calipari is the former head coach of the University of Memphis Tigers, the University of Massachusetts Minutemen, and the National Basketball Association's New Jersey Nets. Calipari has officially been to 3 Final Fours, all three with Kentucky (2011, 2012, 2014) . He had previously led UMass in 1996 and Memphis in 2008 to the Final Four, but those appearances were later vacated. Consequently, Calipari is the only head coach to have Final Four appearances vacated at more than one school, although Calipari himself was not personally implicated by the NCAA in either case. As a college coach, Calipari has 20 (19 officially) 20-win seasons, 8 (7 officially) 30-win seasons, and has been named National Coach of the Year 3 times. Calipari is widely regarded as one of the best recruiters in college basketball history. In the 2011-12 NCAA Division I men's basketball season, Calipari led Kentucky to its 8th NCAA Tournament Championship, and the first of his career. From 1982 to 1985, Calipari was an assistant at the University of Kansas under Ted Owens and Larry Brown. From 1985 to 1988, he was an assistant coach at the University of Pittsburgh under Paul Evans. From 1988 to 1996, he was head coach at the University of Massachusetts. From 1996 to 1999, he was head coach and Executive VP of basketball operations for the NBA's New Jersey Nets. During the 1999-2000 season, he was an assistant coach for the Philadelphia 76ers under coach Larry Brown, before moving on to his next position at the University of Memphis. He was inducted into the National Italian American Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. In his 21 official seasons (22 seasons overall, 21 official, with one entire season later being vacated) as a collegiate head coach, Calipari's record is 548-171 (.762) . His record in the month of March is 98-37 (.726) . His record in the NCAA tournament is 38-13 (.745) , and in the NIT is 15-6 (.714) . His teams have made 14 NCAA tournament appearances (12 official, due to 2 later being vacated) , including reaching the Sweet Sixteen 11 times (9 official, due to 2 later being vacated) , the Elite Eight 9 times (7 official, due to 2 later being vacated) , the Final Four 4 times (2 official, due to 2 later being vacated) , the NCAA Championship Game twice (once officially, with the 2008 Championship Game appearance while at Memphis being vacated by the NCAA) , winning the NCAA Championship at Kentucky in 2012. As a college coach, Calipari has 19 20-win seasons (18 official) and 8 30-win seasons (7 official) . He has also coached 6 teams to the NIT, winning the NIT Championship at Memphis in 2002. He is one of only four coaches in NCAA Division I history to direct three different schools to a #1 seed in the NCAA Tou

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