Report: Chris Mack's Future as Louisville HC 'Being Discussed by School Leadership'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJanuary 25, 2022

Louisville head coach Chris Mack argues with a ref during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Monday Jan. 24, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va. Virginia defeated Louisville 64-52. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)
AP Photo/Steve Helber

Chris Mack's days at Louisville may be numbered.

Pat Forde of Sports Illustrated reported the Louisville Board of Trustees and its athletics board are set for a meeting on the men's basketball coach's future Wednesday that "could result in a change." Mack's weekly radio show on Tuesday has been canceled amid the rumors.

Jeff Borzello and Pete Thamel of ESPN reported the school is currently in negotiations to fire Mack, who is due a $12 million buyout. It's possible that number is lowered as part of exit negotiations.

Louisville has lost five of its last six games and dropped to 11-9 on the season. The Cardinals have put together a series of increasingly listless efforts of late, including managing a season-low 52 points in Monday's 12-point loss at Virginia.

The Louisville home crowd also loudly booed in Saturday's loss to Notre Dame.

โ€œI'm frustrated too," Mack told reporters after the game. "I appreciate everybody coming tonight, they care deeply. They care deeply. They want Louisville to win, we want Louisville to win. Trust me, we're trying to do everything we can to get better and to improve."

Mack, 52, is in his fourth season at Louisville after spending the previous nine years at Xavier. The Cardinals have not gotten out of the first round of the NCAA tournament during his tenure and are 68-37 overall.

The program had been a beacon of stability for the better part of 50 years, with Denny Crum leading Louisville from 1971 to 2001 and then Rick Pitino taking over from 2001 to 2017. Former assistant David Padgett coached the team on an interim basis after Pitino's firing ahead of the 2017-18 season, but the Cardinals hoped they had found their next stalwart in Mack a year later.

The results have simply not followed. Mack has struggled to recruit at a high level, with 247Sports currently ranking Louisville 42nd in the 2022 class and never once landing a top-10 class during his tenure. He's struggled to coach up the talent he's brought to Louisville as well, with the team consistently finishing in the middle of the pack in the ACC.

With the once-promising 10-4 start to 2021-22 falling apart, it appears the administration is reaching a breaking point.