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Tuesday, April 23, 2024
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Sources: Mack to return as coach at Charleston

Veteran college basketball coach Chris Mack is headed back to the sideline.

Mack is expected to become the next head coach at Charleston, sources confirmed to ESPN on Friday night. Mack is the former head coach at Louisville and Xavier and has led his teams to nine NCAA tournament appearances in 13 years.

Mack hasn’t coached since being fired by Louisville in January 2022, a departure that led to that school’s ill-fated hiring of Kenny Payne.

Mack’s best work came at Xavier, which he led to five consecutive NCAA tournaments during the school’s first five years in the Big East to close his tenure there. He led Xavier to eight NCAA appearances in nine total seasons as head coach.

He’ll take over a Charleston program that has been at the top of the Coastal Athletic Association the past two years and reached the NCAA tournament in each of the past two years under head coach Pat Kelsey. who earlier this week was named Louisville’s coach.

Charleston has seven NCAA appearances in school history and its coaching lineage includes Bobby Cremins and John Kresse.

Mack’s hiring is a bold one for Charleston, which has been atop the speculation for the Atlantic 10 in the wake of UMass’ upcoming departure to the Mid-American Conference. If Charleston is added to the conference in the coming months, Mack would give the A-10 a proven and consistent winner. He is 278-133 in 13 years as a head coach. He won a pair of A-10 regular season titles and one Big East regular season title while at Xavier.

Mack’s history of bringing teams to the NCAA tournament does not include his 2019-20 team at Louisville. Mack had Louisville No. 1 in the country in the Associated Press poll that season and projected as a No. 4 seed that year when the NCAA tournament was canceled.

Mack reached the NCAA tournament in nine of his first 10 seasons as a head coach. He has authored 10 20-win seasons.

The Field of 68 first reported Mack’s expected return at Charleston.

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