Louisville Basketball: 10 candidates to replace Chris Mack as head coach

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Louisville Basketball

Chris Mack Louisville Basketball (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

In a move that comes at an unexpected time of the season, Chris Mack will no longer serve as head coach at Louisville Basketball. A native of Cincinnati and a former player at Xavier, Mack had been hired at Louisville back in 2018 and was more than halfway into his fourth season leading the Cardinals, what was his second head coaching position at the collegiate level.

Mack’s career began at the high school level in the 1990s, coaching a pair of girls high schools in Ohio to great success. His collegiate coaching career began in 1999 when the great Skip Prosser named him to his staff at Xavier.

Mack would follow Prosser to Wake Forest a few seasons later before turning to Xavier in 2004 as a member of Sean Miller’s coaching staff. Mack would spend the next five years as an assistant there before Miller departed for Arizona; Mack was then named head coach of the Musketeers.

Before Louisville hired him, Mack had spent nine successful years as head coach at his alma mater. Xavier won a pair of A-10 titles and then transitioned to the Big East in 2013, with the success continuing. All in all, Mack led the program to eight NCAA Tournaments, including an Elite Eight in 2017 and three more Sweet Sixteen appearances. In his final season, the Musketeers won the Big East title and were a #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Since arriving at Louisville, Mack was not able to replicate that same level of success with the Cardinals. He inherited a team still recovering from the controversy and allegations surrounding the departure of Rick Pitino, but that didn’t stop quick success. After leading the Cardinals back to the NCAA Tournament in his first season, he lead the program to a 24-7 mark in 2020 and might’ve led this team to a deeper run had the pandemic not cancelled the postseason.

The trouble has come in the time since, as Louisville simply hasn’t looked like a national contender, let alone even an NCAA Tournament team. Last season, the Cardinals were just 13-7, had their bubble popped on Selection Sunday, and didn’t have a very encouraging season. This year, it’s been more of the same, as Louisville sits just 11-9, with a disappointing 5-5 mark during a down year for the ACC.

There are a few more months left for this Louisville team, but the focus may turn towards the future for the Cardinals. There’s certainly still a chance that interim coach Mike Pegues can get this team back on track down the stretch. However, the attention turns towards who will be named the next head basketball coach at Louisville. This is a fantastic coaching position in a great location, in a great conference, and with a rich history.

We’ll be taking a closer look at ten potential candidates for this job, with the focus completely on outside candidates. It’s unlikely that Pegues or anyone else on staff will impress enough to retain the job, thus we turn our focus t to these ten names, presented in alphabetical order.

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