Rick Pitino Follows Through, Gets Tattoo

Rick Pitino promised his team he’d get a tattoo if they made it to the Final Four. They won the whole thing.

ESPN (“Rick Pitino adds tattoo to 2013 title“):

When Louisville coach Rick Pitino walked into the city’s Tattoo Salvation on Friday morning, he was out to show his players that he would follow through on this midseason promise — you win the national title, I will get inked.

n Feb. 9, after a demoralizing loss to Notre Dame that required five overtimes to settle, Pitino told his Cardinals that they’d win out, win the Big East title and get to the Final Four.

“I then told them they have to stop with all these tattoos,” Pitino said.

That’s when the players fired back at Pitino. If the Cardinals could win the national title, would the coach get his own tattoo?

The rest is history. Louisville rallied to defeat Michigan 82-76 in the championship game on April 8, with Pitino becoming the first coach to win national crowns at two schools, and he revealed his tattoo promise in a postgame interview.

“Our biggest motivation,” senior guard Peyton Siva said after the victory, “was to get coach a tattoo.”

Adam Potts has lived in Louisville his entire life, so as the owner of a tattoo shop in town, he saw this as an opportunity. He sent a letter to Pitino saying he’d be interested in doing the work. Things got surreal when the coach walked in.


So did Pitino pay for the tattoo?

Said Potts: “I was running a free special for any Hall of Fame coaches who won an NCAA championship in the last 30 days.”

That’s a good line.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. I’d imagine that the tattoo artist will get enough free media coverage to more than cover whatever he would have charged for this work.