NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKYT) – It’s no secret: Coach John Calipari is one of the biggest names in college basketball, and with that, comes a huge spotlight for his family.
Photo: WKYT/Amber Philpott
One of the members of his family, eldest daughter Dr. Erin Calipari, stands in that spotlight with relish – often firing back on social media at those that love to trash talk her family.
"In the last 10 seconds I've got eight notifications because anytime I tweet anything for like the next two hours there are 100 notifications," she says.
At Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Dr. Calipari is the first scientist in her family. For the last year she has been studying addiction in the brain and ways to try and curb the opioid epidemic.
When she is out of the lab, however, she’s known for her quick and witty responses to those that bash her family.
“There was a large part of my young adult life when I was sort of figuring out who I was,” says Calipari. “I wanted people to like me and there was this kind of different thing with my family where people didn’t like me before they knew me. It’s amazing the things people will stay to you, but, I don’t know. It’s kind of like - I think I’m more likely to do it if someone is insulting my family or people I care about than myself.”
Calipari says her twitter feed is often split between science and sports and not a lot gets past her without a response. In particular, she doesn’t stand for others giving her brother, Brad, a hard time: she says that’s reserved for her only.
“He is the Italian son, so you have to keep him balanced right. The parents are for building him up and the siblings are for keeping him humble, so that is my role,” said Calipari.
Erin isn’t the only Calipari making a name for herself on social media, her mother Ellen has become a regular on Instagram. Her hilarious post include making fun of Coach Cal, life, and of course, her family. The jump into the online world makes her daughter happy.
“So it’s inspiring to see her just be herself out in public now and the person I always knew she was, other people get to see how awesome she is,” said Calipari.