By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Louisville Cardinals have parted ways with men’s basketball head coach Chris Mack. He had been leading the program for three-plus seasons.
The speculation began on Tuesday about a separation agreement being talked about. He has been replaced on an interim basis by assistant coach Mike Pegues.
“Coaching transitions are always difficult, especially during the course of the season, but Chris and I agreed that it is in the best interests of our student-athletes that he step aside immediately,” Director of Athletics Josh Heird said. “We will always prioritize our student-athletes and do all that we can to ensure that they have an incredible experience at Louisville. I want to thank Chris and his family for their service to the University and we wish them the very best in their next chapter.”
Mack departs following a 68-36 record at the school. He leaves following an 11-9 record this season.
His last game with the team came on Monday, January 24th at the Virginia Cavaliers. The Cardinals were defeated 64-52 in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Pegues’ first game with the team will be a mighty task. His first contest is against the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday, January 29th in Louisville.
“To wake up every day these last four years as the head coach of the University of Louisville has been an opportunity that I will cherish,” said Mack. “Over the past 50 years, this position has been among the most coveted in all of college sports and I count myself lucky to have been a part of this university’s storied history. It is with that sense of appreciation that I have made the decision to no longer be your coach. I know that I will miss the daily interactions with our student-athletes, coaches and my university colleagues, but after 25 years of coaching, including the last 13 as a head coach, it is time for me to focus on my family and spend more time being a dad. I don’t know what my future holds, but I do know that I take away from here only the cherished memories and friends we have made in this community and this university.
“Any of us who is given the opportunity to represent this great university knows that we are only in this position because of the passion, support and pride of Cardinal Nation, and I know that the University of Louisville basketball program’s best days remain ahead of it. Coach Pegues is ready to lead this program through the home stretch of the season, and I encourage everyone to pack the KFC Yum! Center to show our players how much the Louisville community cares about Cardinal Basketball. With all of our hearts, my family and I thank you for your passion and support and wish Cardinal Nation and the University of Louisville nothing but the best moving forward. Go Cards!”
Before coming to Louisville, Mack led the Xavier Musketeers for eight seasons. Pegues has worked with Mack dating back to Xavier.
He is in his fourth season with the Cardinals. He previously was on Mack’s staff at Xavier from 2012 through 2018.
Pegues also spent two seasons at The University of Delaware. He is the Blue Hens all-time leading scorer with 2,030 points.
“I have complete confidence in Mike Pegues, who did a tremendous job leading the team in November and I am comforted that he has agreed to lead us the rest of the season,” Heird said. “We have set a high bar for expectations for our basketball program, on and off of the court, and we will continue to strive to meet those goals. We have world-class student-athletes, academics, facilities, tradition and fan support, and I am confident that we will be able to find the right new leader of our cherished men’s basketball program. As we conduct a deliberate and targeted search, our focus will continue to be on our student-athletes and I am confident that Cardinal Nation will rally around them.”
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