Rick Pitino, head coach of the Louisville Cardinals, promised to get a tattoo if the team won the 2013 NCAA national championship. The Cardinals did just that, beating the Michigan Wolverines 82-76.
The Cardinals won an emotional 2013 NCAA Tournament that saw the team losing their starting shooting guard Kevin Ware after he broke his leg. The gruesome injury occurred during the regional finals of the NCAA tournament against Duke that was televised nationally by CBS. The Cards used that emotional moment to make their way through March Madness to be crowned the 2013 NCAA champions.
After the championship game, Ware revealed that Pitino had promised the team he would get a tattoo if the Cardinals won the NCAA championship. “[Pitino] said, if we won a national championship, he would be getting a tattoo,” Ware said in an interview with USA Today. The Cardinals used Pitino’s tattoo promise as motivation to win the national championship with Ware’s heartbreaking injury further fueling Louisville’s drive toward a title.
Pitino’s players were pushing their coach to keep his promise, and, while he had several weeks to get cold feet, Pitino did live up to his promise. On Friday, Kenny Klein, the senior associate athletic director for media relations at the University of Louisville, revealed Pitino’s new ink on Twitter. Pitino’s tattoo is on his back left shoulder and features a stylized “L,” the championship year, NCAA Champions and Louisville’s record of 35-5.
Klein’s photos show Pitino inside a tattoo parlor after the tattoo was completed. Louisville’s NCAA championship trophy is seen next to the coach. Pitino’s tattoo will be a source of pride for his players and caps off an emotional March Madness for the team.