Rick Pitino has been named the Lexington Herald-Leader's Kentucky Sportsman of the Year for 2013, marking the third time he's received the honor. Pitino is the first person ever to achieve that feat.
Pitino, who previously received the award in 1990 and 1996, is also the first person to earn the distinction as a representative of both the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.
The Year of the Cardinal was on full display in the voting for the award, as Tom Jurich finished as the first runner-up to Pitino, and one spot ahead of former Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. Of the 136 ballots cast by members of the Kentucky media, 103 voted a U of L figure first. Five Cardinal representatives finished in the top 10, and nine in the top 25.
Jurich actually finished with more first-place votes (44) than Pitino (38), but was not named on as many ballots (94) as the basketball coach (109).
I'm sure this will cushion the blow of finishing behind Teddy in the 2013 Card Chronicle Person of the Year voting, if only slightly.
Congrats to Coach Pitino.