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Friday, July 1, 2022

Mack Era coming to an end after four seasons

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – WAVE Sports has learned that University of Louisville head men’s basketball coach Chris Mack and university officials have been in discussions today concerning a negotiated settlement that would end Mack’s run at UofL.

His current team is 11-9 and has lost five of it’s last six games. Four of the last five outings have resulted in double digit losses, the first such stretch since 1940.

Mack is 68-37 in his four seasons on the Cards bench.

A weekly radio show scheduled for tonight was canceled this afternoon and the University of Louisville Board of Trustees and Athletic Association Board have called a meeting for 4 p.m. on Wednesday. Approval of the settlement is expected at that meeting.

The tide seemed to turn on Mack’s thought process after the Cards blew a seven point halftime lead and lost 82-70 to Notre Dame on Saturday at the KFC Yum! Center. The announced attendance was 16,175 in the 22,000 seat arena.

After the loss to the Irish, three-time captain Malik Williams was asked if the players had tuned out the coaching staff? His response, after a few seconds of thought, was, “I don’t have a comment for that.”

The team responded by falling behind 27-8 at Virginia on Monday night. They eventually fought back to get within four at 45-41, on a Williams jumper, but eventually lost 64-52.

After the game on Monday night Mack was asked about Williams’ comment from Saturday.

“You know Malik was asked a tough question the other day, wasn’t really sure how to respond, you know, he obviously thinks our team should be better, as do I,” Mack said. “We were the same team that was up seven at Notre Dame, same team despite a bad deficit, that you can’t give on the road, we’re the same team that rallied and responded and didn’t quit, so I think that’s a little bit overblown, but at the same time, the result is the result and we’re not here to do anything but try to win games and we haven’t gotten the job done here as of late.”

Mack’s contract with UofL pays him in excess of $4 million a season and runs through March 31, 2025. If he were terminated without cause, the school would owe him in excess of $12 million.

The coach was suspended for the first six games of the 2021-22 season after potential NCAA violations came to light following the recording of the termination of former assistant coach Dino Gaudio. Gaudio was sentenced to one year of probation and a $10,000 fine after pleading guilty to attempting to extort Mack.

The NCAA deemed the violations brought to light to be Level II violations, and included them with the ongoing investigation into the FBI probe that led to the firing of former UofL head coach Rick Pitino. That case, which came to light in September of 2017, has still not been settled.

Assistant coach Mike Pegues took over for Mack during his six-game suspension, leading the Cards to a 5-1 record, and would be the logical choice to take over for the remainder of this season.

UofL (11-9, 5-5 ACC) hosts #9 Duke (15-3, 5-2) on Saturday at 12 p.m. in the KFC Yum! Center.

Copyright 2022 WAVE. All rights reserved.

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