LOUISVILLE, KY - DECEMBER 02: Rick Pitino the head coach of the Louisville Cardinals celebrates after Louisville beat the Vanderbilt Commodores 62-60 in the game at KFC YUM! Center on December 2, 2011 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Even though his Louisville team struggled in a loss at Cincinnati last night, Rick Pitino got some good news this morning on a personal level. Pitino has been named a finalist for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall Of Fame, according to a release from the organization this morning. According to the release:
This year’s list includes four first-time finalists: five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain. Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta,Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads. The Class of 2012 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.
This is an honor that many have thought Pitino would eventually get, being the only coach to (officially) take three different schools to Final Fours as a head coach, in addition to his career win total and his stints as an NBA head coach as well. You can read the full release on all the nominees here.