LOUISVILLE, KY. (WDRB) -- It's the second time one coach has had his name on a commemorative bottle in Bourbon country, once for Kentucky and now for Louisville.

U of L Head Basketball Coach Rick Pitino on Tuesday dipped some of the first commemorative Maker's Mark bottles with his face on them.

Maker's Mark began producing U of L commemorative bottles last year as part of a three-year, half-million-dollar commitment.

Sales from the more than 12,000 bottles will go toward the U of L Academic Center of Excellence, an $8 million project.

While the bottles won't go on sale until Friday, Pitino shared his excitement with WDRB News about the bottles and where the money is going:  "It's very exciting," he said, "to have excellence behind it.  Maker's is such an incredible supporter of all the universities.  There have been so many worthwhile projects.  Samuels has been very good to all of the universities.  I hope all of you will pitch in and buy a couple of these before you leave."

There will also be a bottle signing event Thursday, June 13, a 5 p.m. at the KFC Yum! Center.  You can obtain tickets for $1 at http://louisville-events.cbscollegestore.com/.  Previously-purchased tickets can be picked up at the Yum Center main front lobby beginning at 4 p.m.  Tickets won't be sold at the door.

Copyright WDRB News.  All rights reserved.