Louisville and its men’s basketball head coach, Chris Mack, appear to be on the verge of a divorce.
According to multiple reports, an official meeting between the university’s Board of Trustees and the athletics board is scheduled for Wednesday to approve the separation. news came first reported by Atletico. Although he is only in the fourth season of a seven-year deal with the Cardinals, reports speculate that Monday night’s 64-52 loss to Virginia was his last game apart from him in Louisville.
The possibility of an impending split was further fueled when Mack’s radio show was canceled Tuesday night.
The decision to let go of Mack comes during a time of uncertainty for Louisville, which is run by interim athletic director Josh Heird. The Cardinals also don’t have a full-time school president after the recent departure of Neeli Bendapudi to Penn State.
Following the confirmation of the separation agreement later this week, according to Jon Rothstein, assistant Mike Pegues will take over as interim head coach before the Cardinals’ next matchup at home against Duke.
What @SethDavisHoops Chris Mack is reportedly not returning as Louisville’s head coach, a source confirmed. Official announcement expected on Wednesday.
Assistant Mike Pegues is expected to be Louisville’s interim head coach, starting with Saturday’s game against Duke.
—Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) January 25, 2022
The Mack purchase is for approximately $12 million, which could be negotiated as part of the separation agreement.
After leading Xavier for nine seasons, Mack was hired by Louisville in 2018 in a seven year contract worth around $4 million per season. He helped the Cardinals earn the No. 7 seed and a trip to the NCAA March Madness Tournament during his first year in the program.
Louisville is 11-9 overall and 5-5 in the ACC after losing five of its last six games.
Mack was suspended without pay for several games at the start of the season during an investigation into his former assistant, Dino Gaudio. The NCAA investigation uncovered multiple violations in Louisville, and Gaudio was sentenced to a year of probation and fined $10,000 for attempting to extort money from Mack.
Several players shared the Cardinals’ coaches’ frustration with the situation. WDRB reporter Rick Bozich spoke to Louisville players Tuesday about the personnel change.
I have spoken with 3 former Louisville players about the news that is leaking around Cardinal basketball.
Everyone is ready to put Chris Mack behind today.
“This is a real mess,” said one.
– rickbozich (@rickbozich) January 25, 2022
While Pegues will temporarily take over coaching responsibilities, Louisville will be looking at potential candidates. WLKY reporter Dominique Yates has already offered speculation about replacements for Louisville’s head coach.
The source tells me that if Chris Mack has left as coach of Louisville, here are some names of interest:
I’m not saying Louisville is interested, but I’m told Pearl “loves him very much.”
Payne also strong interest.
— Dominique Yates (@RealDYates) January 25, 2022
With the loss to Virginia on Monday night, the Cardinals marked their fifth loss to conference opponents and dropped to an 11-9 (5-5 ACC) record for the season. Louisville will have a chance to break their losing streak as they prepare to host Duke on Saturday at 12 pm ET.