By Chris Madden, @Madden_SBN
Recognize any of these names: DeMarcus Cousins, Rajon Rondo, John Wall, and Anthony Davis. If not, you probably don’t pay much attention to basketball. For starters, these four players have a combined 14 NBA All-Star appearances as well as two Olympic Gold Medals, and one NBA Championship. They also have something else in common: they played their collegiate ball at Kentucky; under John Calipari.
Calipari is well-known throughout the college basketball community for his ability to perfect the “one-and-done” player, producing a record 13 NBA Lottery picks in his six years as head coach. This fad of leaving collegiate basketball after one season is now considered the “latest and greatest” thing.
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In a sports market, dominated by social media, coaches are looking for any ways to get ahead in terms of communication and standing out in order to attain highly sought after recruits. To no surprise, Calipari is ahead of the pack in this realm as well.
In partnership with Midroll, a podcast advertising network, Calipari has launched his new podcast: Cal Cast. This podcast began late last year, and has quickly gained popularity as he continues the 30 minute one-on-one sessions.
“I asked if there were any other coaches doing this. When they said no, I then wanted to learn more about it. I’m always trying to find out what’s next and how we can be the first ones to do it,” Calipari said. He also told Metz Camfield, a writer for coachcal.com, that once he found out that money from the podcast could be donated to the Calipari Foundation, he was good to go; after receiving a yes from his wife Ellen of course.
Coach Cal has featured several legends from in and outside of the sport of basketball, including: Charles Barkley, Coach (K) Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Harbaugh, Phil Knight, Dan Patrick, Geno Auriemma, and his latest guest rival Louisville University’s head coach, Rick Pitino.
In one of his more recent conversations on the Cal Cast; Coach Cal discusses the trouble that coaching at the collegiate level can bring:
Coach Cal: “When you get a phone call at midnight you get sick to your stomach right?
Rick Pitino: “Oh, absolutely; you’re dealing with people’s kids here.”
Coach Cal: “But if I’m an NBA coach and I get a call at midnight, it’s a wrong number.”
Coach Cal told Rick Pitino, “Yeah when we’re out there we wanna kill each other, but off the court, we stick together because the only people that know what we go through are other coaches.”
Calipari is changing the game as far as being a unique coach is concerned.
While Jim Harbaugh is changing, and redefining the way collegiate football recruiting is done. Calipari is changing the way college basketball coaches are seen.
In a time when continuous NCAA violations are handed down to coaches, trust is of the upmost importance to a parent of a recruit. Listening to Calipari’s podcast makes you feel as if you are sitting beside him in a private room, conversing over a steaming cup of coffee.
What parent wouldn’t want that guy as their kids coach?
To be successful, it is pertinent to stay a few steps ahead of your competition. By bringing on iconic people from all walks of life, it allows Coach Cal to appear well-rounded and flexible; something every young player wants in a coach.