John Calipari recognized on Senate floor

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Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 6:56 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WYMT) - John Calipari has long been one of a kind.

In November, the Kentucky men’s basketball coach will continue in that streak by being honored by receiving the Jefferson Award for Public Service, the first college men’s basketball coach to do so.

To reflect that honor, U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) recognized Calipari’s honor on the floor of the Senate on Wednesday.

Sen. McConnell’s full remarks are below:

“In my home state of Kentucky, college basketball ranks up there with horseracing as one of our signature pastimes. Our greatest players become local heroes. Our greatest seasons become local legends.

“It’s no surprise, then, that our basketball coaches are larger-than-life figures. Plenty of notable ones have passed through the halls of our universities. But the University of Kentucky’s John Calipari – Coach Cal to most of us – is one for the history books.

“Of course, there’s his record with the program: 365 wins; four Final Four appearances; a National Championship. But there’s also his record of public service. During his past thirteen years with UK, Coach Cal has leveraged his position in the public eye to transform the face of charitable giving in Kentucky.

“In recognition of his work, the organization Multiplying Good will present Coach Cal with their Jefferson Award for Public Service this year. Previous recipients of this prestigious award include Oprah Winfrey, Steve Jobs, and Colin Powell. Coach Cal is the first men’s college basketball coach to receive the honor.

“Sometimes, Coach Cal’s efforts are local. Every Thanksgiving, he helps folks around Lexington enjoy the family meal they deserve. Every Christmas, he gathers presents for children in need. But sometimes, Coach Cal’s efforts touch every corner of the Commonwealth. As Kentucky reeled from multiple crises in the past few years, his assistance proved invaluable.

“During the pandemic, he helped Fayette County students access the resources they needed to continue their schooling from home. When tornadoes hit Western Kentucky last winter, he rallied Kentuckians to raise money through a telethon. And when heavy rainfall and floods damaged communities in Eastern Kentucky this summer, he did the same, pulling our state together to help victims rebuild. In total, Coach Cal’s telethons have raised more than $12 million for charitable ventures in Kentucky and across the world.

“Thank you, Coach Cal, for your service to our state. And congratulations on receiving this distinguished award.”