LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – It’s a sight no one expected to see: Coach Rick Pitino grinning from ear to ear, throwing up an L, and getting tatted up.
“It says NBA champs. I told him NCAA champs,” Rick Pitino said.
This is the man who chastised his guys for getting too many tattoos. But he's also the man who challenged them to win their final 7 games, win the Big East tournament, and get a number one seed. They said “if we do it, will you get a little ink Coach?”
“I said ‘I just gave you a speech that you guys gotta stop with all these things.’ And they said, ‘will you do it coach?’ And I said, ‘if you can do that, I'll get one?’” Pitino said.
This is a side of Rick fans have never seen, and they like it.
“I love this coach. He's made a complete turnaround. I love everything about him. I love everything about this school,” said fan Wayne Holloman.
“I think it's crazy. He's a brave man for doing that. It's big too,” fan Brandon Joseph said.
This is Louisville Rick and he's got a whole posse following suit.
“Jordan, Vinny, my officer Dale, my young nanny who used to take care of my kids is gonna get one. Jacqueline already got one on her foot. Ryan and Michael are next. So the championship means a lot. It will last forever. It's not going away on our back,” Pitino said.
Rick says if his horse Goldencents wins the Derby, he's not getting another tattoo. But if he says if his team wins another championship, he'll consider it. Fans are already plotting his next design.
“Get the full bird on you. Just put it across your chest,” fan Wayne Holloman said.
Pitino will never forget this year or this team. This “champ stamp” makes sure of that. He says it's a special championship because he coached special people.