Louisville has parted ways with men's basketball coach Chris Mack, the coach confirmed on Wednesday.
“It's been building,” he told media outside of the school's athletic facility. “I think it's just, it's been building. We all just want the best for Louisville, and I still do. That's not going to change. It's not really important, when, any of that stuff. What's important is that these guys need to be able to be connected. I'm humble enough that if I'm not the right person, all good, man. Just want the best for them. They're great kids.
“I loved my time at Louisville, my kids love it here, so I harbor no bitterness. Life's too short. I know in 2022 everybody wants to be a victim. I never live my life that way at all.”
Mack deflected when asked if he thought he deserved more time leading the Cardinals. He said the team knew what was coming when he spoke to them, adding he would not share what he told his players.
Wednesday’s move comes after Sports Illustrated's Pat Forde reported that the two sides were “working toward a separation agreement.” News of Mack's potential ouster broke on Tuesday amid meetings involving high-level Louisville officials.
Mack's weekly radio show, set for Tuesday night, was also canceled.
Louisville's 2021–22 season has taken a significant downturn. The Cardinals are losers of five of their last six games, including a 64–52 defeat at the hands of Virginia on Monday. Louisville is 11–9 (5–5) on the season, and well outside the NCAA tournament picture at this point.
Louisville said Mack “failed to follow university guidelines, policies, and procedures in handling the matter,“ in its decision to suspend him, making clear that it is “unrelated to the extortion attempt itself and the ongoing NCAA process.”
Assistant coach Mike Pegues is expected to lead the team for the rest of the year, according to WDRB's Rick Bozich.
After a nine-year run at Xavier, Mack took over the Louisville program ahead of the 2018-19 season, looking to dig it out of the hole left by Rick Pitino's scandal-ridden departure.
Mack posted a 68–37 record in four seasons, going 38–23 in ACC play. The team has not participated in the NCAA tournament since a first-round exit in 2019.
More College Basketball Coverage:
- After Chris Mack Era Fails, What's Next for Louisville?
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- Bracket Watch: UNC Drops Out of Field
- Louisville Report: Louisville Running Out of Opportunities to Save Their Season
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