Xavier coach Chris Mack has accepted the Louisville basketball coaching job after the program told interim coach David Padgett the Cardinals were going in a different direction.
Mack met with Louisville officials and the deal was close to completion on Tuesday. The writing of the potential hiring seemed to be on the wall, with Xavier coaches reportedly telling recruits they are now recruiting for Louisville.
With that in mind, here are five things you should know about Mack:
1. Xavier is all Chris Mack knows
Chris Mack has had exactly one head coaching job in college hoops — Xavier. He took over in 2009-10 and hasn’t looked back since. Mack has missed the NCAA Tournament just one year (2012-13) and has won the conference championship three times over his tenure. He has a 68 percent winning percentage over nine seasons at Xavier.
2. Mack is a coach of firsts
In Mack’s time at Xavier, he’s accomplished plenty of firsts, with the biggest being the program’s first-ever Big East championship. He has led the Musketeers to its highest poll ranking in school history (No. 3 in 2018) and its first No. 1 seed in program history.
He is the all-time wins leader (215) and has more NCAA Tournament wins than any other coach in program history. He also became Xavier’s first-ever National Coach of the Year (2015-16).
3. Basketball is a family game
Mack played two years at the University of Evansville before transferring to Xavier in 1990 as a forward. His wife, Christi, was inducted into the Dayton Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014 and was the head girls basketball coach at Cincinnati’s Colerain High. They have three children together.
4. Louisville can top Mack’s salary
Mack is making just $1.7 million a year as the coach at Xavier, per Courier-Journal. Rick Pitino was making just over $5 million as coach of the Cardinals. Mack likely isn’t making that kind of money, but he could be due for a sizable pay raise should he choose to make the jump.
5. Mack hasn’t won the big game
Mack’s claim to fame is three conference championships (one in the Big East and the other two in the Atlantic-10). His team has played in the Elite Eight just once (a loss to Gonzaga, 83-53). Mack’s teams have also made runs to the Sweet 16 twice.
The question Louisville decision-makers need to be discussing is whether he can guide the Cardinals to a National Championship.