Since before Louisville officially announced that interim coach David Padgett would not be retained, it has been assumed Xavier coach Chris Mack would be the top candidate for the Cardinals’ coaching vacancy.
On Thursday, Mack’s candidacy became official when news broke that Louisville had scheduled a meeting with Mack to discuss the position.
Jeff Greer of the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal reported Mack would visit with Louisville officials this weekend. Interim athletic director Vince Tyra previously had ducked a question about the veracity of claims that Mack was being considered the top candidate for the job.
The biggest obstacle with Mack, whose top-seeded Xavier Musketeers were upset by Florida State in the Round of 32 last weekend, ultimately will be that he is a Xavier alum and was a longtime assistant there before taking the top job. While Louisville can offer Mack a sizable raise from the reported $1.7 million salary he is earning, it also has significant NCAA and FBI issues looming.
Missing on Mack would put Louisville in a difficult situation in an underwhelming coaching market. And Louisville is unfortunately the type of deep-pocketed but flawed opportunity many coaches could be interested in exploiting to earn themselves raises this offseason.