When Louisville began its coaching search, the Cardinals made it no secret that they wanted Xavier coach Chris Mack. A week later, that’s exactly who they hired.
This week in a column from entitled “The best, worst and most shocking moves in the college hoops coaching carousel,” ESPN Insider Jeff Goodman called Louisville adding Mack the “biggest no-brainer” coaching hire of the offseason.
Chris Mack to Louisville. From the day that Rick Pitino was jettisoned, Mack was the clear-cut leader. Let’s forget about the fact that his wife, Christi, is from Louisville. He fits because he has already had success recruiting in the Midwest. He took the Musketeers to the Elite Eight in 2017. Plus, he had Xavier as a No. 1 seed this year. In his nine seasons as head coach, he’s gone to the NCAA tournament eight times.
Mack wouldn’t be the first coach from Xavier to experience success or be a great fit at another program. Sean Miller and Thad Matta were the two coaches of the Musketeers prior to Mack taking over the Xaiver program. Matta led Ohio State to the national championship game in 2007, and Miller has recorded a .769 winning percentage in nine seasons at Arizona.
It won’t be initially easy for Mack, though, at Louisville. The Cardinals weren’t particularly great offensively last season, and the squad lost its top three scorers to either graduation or the NBA draft. If Louisville is going to make noise in the ACC during the 2017-18 season, Mack will likely have to land a few impactful graduate transfers.