LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The ESPY Awards from ESPN don't begin until 9 p.m., but Rick Pitino already is a winner.
The University of Louisville basketball coach, who won't attend tonight's ceremony because he is on the road recruiting, won the award for best coach/manager, it was announced during the program's red carpet preshow. When told he was a finalist, Pitino said he didn't expect to win the award at all, but it continues what will go down as a milestone year for the coach.
Pitino has won a national championship, had a horse in the Kentucky Derby, been selected for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, next week will visit The White House with his championship team, and tonight won the ESPY for best coaching performance in all of sports.
U of L players Russ Smith, Wayne Blackshear and former Cardinal Peyton Siva are in attendance at the awards in Los Angeles, as well as former player and current director of basketball operations Andre McGee.
Pitino beat out Indianapolis Colts interim coach Bruce Arians, who coached the team after regular coach Chuck Pagano was diagnosed with leukemia; national champion women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma of Connecticut; Duke lacrosse coach John Danowski and the Miami Heat's Erik Spoelstra, who won his second straight title in the NBA.
U of L's women's basketball team is a nominee for Best Upset, for its win over Baylor in the NCAA Tournament.