By Daniel Rankin —

Jan. 26 marks the end of an era, as the U of L Board of Trustees and U of L Athletic Association announced the departure of men’s head basketball coach Chris Mack.

The decision comes as the Cards are about to miss the NCAA tournament for the second year in a row with an 11-9 record this season. They also currently have an 8th place 5-5 record in the ACC.

“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,” said Interim Athletic Director Josh Heird. “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 finishes his tenure at U of L with an overall record of 68-37 and without any NCAA Tournament victories.

During Mack’s first year as head coach in 2018, the Cards entered the Tournament with a No. 7 ranking, but took a loss to No. 10 Minnesota in the first round.

In the 2019-20 season, expectations were high for the team, as their pre-season ranking was No. 5, and achieved the No. 1 spot midseason for two weeks. However, the NCAA Tournament was cancelled in March due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020-21 season saw multiple game cancellations for the Cardinals and they were the first team without an invitation to the tournament.

After some staff turnover, which included an extortion attempt by former assistant coach Dino Gaudio, Mack was suspended six games without pay by the University last November.

Assistant Coach Mike Pegues will be taking over as interim head coach.

Now U of L will begin the national search to find the next coach of the U of L men’s basketball team.

Photo Courtesy of Jeff Reinking // Louisville Athletics