The relevant sections are below, but here's the complete release. Couldn't be a bigger fan of the first sentence of Pitino's bio. Congratulations to coach.
-- Friday, February 24, 2012 --
First-Time Finalists include Reggie Miller, Rick Pitino, Bill Fitch and Katrina McClain
ORLANDO, FL and SPRINGFIELD, MA – The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced today, at NBA All-Star Weekend in Orlando, an elite list of players, coaches, an official and one team as the 12 finalists from the North American and Women’s committees to be considered for election in 2012. The recognition of being honored as a Hall of Fame finalist is a career highlight in the sport of basketball. This year’s list includes four first-time finalists: five-time NBA All-Star Reggie Miller, five-time NCAA Final Four coach Rick Pitino, two-time NBA Coach of the Year Bill Fitch and two-time Olympic gold medalist Katrina McClain. Previous finalists included again this year for consideration are Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Dick Motta, Don Nelson, Hank Nichols, Ralph Sampson, Jamaal Wilkes and the All American Red Heads. The Class of 2012 will be unveiled at the NCAA Final Four in April.
"The finalists for the Class of 2012 are a decorated group consisting of some of the greatest leaders that we have ever seen in the game of basketball," said Jerry Colangelo, chairman of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Board of Governors. "They represent all facets of the game from professional, collegiate, amateur and International levels for the sport."
Also announced today are five Direct Elects who are the initial members of the Class of 2012. They include Mel Daniels voted in from the American Basketball Association (ABA) Committee, Don Barksdale from the Early African American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight from the Contributors Direct Election Committee. This year marks the second year of the direct elect process. Last year, the ABA and Early African-American Pioneers committees were added to maintain a strong focus on keeping history on the forefront of the voting process and to preserve a balance between two eras of basketball. These five individuals have been directly elected into the Basketball Hall of Fame and will be a part of the Enshrinement Ceremonies in September along with the eventual members from the North American and Women’s committees.
The complete list of finalists include from the North American Screening Committee: players Maurice Cheeks, Bernard King, Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson and Jamaal Wilkes; coaches Bill Fitch, Dick Motta, Don Nelson and Rick Pitino; and referee Hank Nichols. From the Women’s Screening Committee: player Katrina McClain and team The All American Red Heads.
The Class of 2012 will be announced on Monday, April 2 at a news conference in New Orleans prior to the NCAA’s Men’s Championship game. A finalist needs 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee for election into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. The Class of 2012 will be enshrined during festivities in Springfield, Mass. on Friday, September 7. Tickets to the 2012 Enshrinement and Induction Celebration are available by calling the Hall of Fame at (413) 231-5540.
RICK PITINO [Coach] – Pitino is the only coach in men’s history to lead three different schools to NCAA Final Four appearances as he did with Providence College, University of Kentucky and University of Louisville. He led Kentucky to the 1996 National Championship and then reached the title game again with the Wildcats the following year. He has won over 600 games in his collegiate career, reached the Final Four five different times (1987, 1993, 1996, 1997 and 2005), led his teams to 20 postseason appearances and won nine conference tournament championships. He earned Coach of the Year honors from different sources three different years. Pitino also held two stints as an NBA head coach with the New York Knicks and Boston Celtics, leading the Knicks to two playoff appearances.