John Calipari picked up another Coach of the Year award Sunday. The ultimate honor in basketball may come Monday.
Calipari, who guided Kentucky to a 38-1 record this season, was named the Naismith Coach of the Year for the third time in his career by the Atlanta Tipoff Club on Sunday. He also won in 2008 as coach at Memphis and in 1996 at Massachusetts.
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame will announce the members of its Class of 2015 inductees on Monday morning at the downtown Indianapolis hotel. Calipari is one of 12 finalists for induction. Other finalists include Wisconsin Coach Bo Ryan and former NBA players Jo Jo White, Dikembe Mutombo, Tim Hardaway and Spencer Haywood.
Whether or not Calipari is voted into the Hall of Fame, Kentucky basketball will be represented at the enshrinement Sept. 10-11 in Springfield, Mass. One of the Rupp's Runts, Louie Dampier, was elected by the American Basketball Association Committee as what's known as one of the "Direct-Elects."
Dampier becomes the ninth Hall of Famer with ties to UK. He follows Adolph Rupp, Cliff Hagan, Frank Ramsey, Dan Issel, C.M. Newton, Pat Riley, Adrian Smith and Rick Pitino.
Whether Calipari becomes the 10th will be known Monday morning.
Calipari became the first coach to win the Naismith Coach of the Year award while working for three different schools.
"A coaching award is a staff award, and we are all celebrating these awards that are coming our way together because of the way these players have allowed us to coach them," Calipari said in a statement. "The Naismith award is one of the first national coaching awards I received back in 1996 and holds a special place with me. When I heard that I was a finalist, I was excited just because it's a reflection of how hard this staff and how hard our players have worked. To be able to get this prestigious award at three different schools is an honor, and I want to thank the Naismith committee for this award."
Kentucky's 38 victories this season equalled a NCAA Division I single-season record previously shared by Calipari's 2007-08 Memphis team and his 2011-12 Kentucky team.
Earlier this spring, Calipari was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year for the second time. He also won National Coach of the Year awards sponsored by The Sporting News, The Associated Press and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.