Chris Mack replaces new Louisville coach Pat Kelsey at Charleston

On3 imageby:Jack Pilgrim03/30/24

Well, this is weird. The guy who coached under the old guy at Xavier is the new guy at Louisville and the old guy at Louisville is replacing the new guy at Louisville as the new guy at Charleston. Did I get that right? I think so. Let me explain.

Chris Mack is back in the coaching ranks, replacing Pat Kelsey at Charleston after the 48-year-old took the head job at Louisville this week. Kelsey served as the associate head coach on Mack’s staff at Xavier from 2009-11 before getting his first head coaching gig at Winthrop (2012-21), then taking over the Cougars in 2021. Meanwhile, Mack coached the Musketeers to a 215-97 record from 2013-18 before replacing Rick Pitino with the Cardinals from 2018-22, fired midway through the ’21-22 season after the school said he violated guidelines amid assistant coach Dino Gaudio’s alleged extortion attempts. He closed out his time at UofL with a 63-36 overall record.

Now, the College of Charleston is sticking with the Mack coaching tree by hiring Mack himself, The Field of 68’s Jeff Goodman reported late Friday. The former Louisville coach had been a podcast co-host for The Field of 68 since becoming a free agent in Jan. ’22.

Kelsey replaces Kenny Payne with the Cardinals after he led the program to historic lows, finishing with a 12-52 record in two seasons under his watch.

After taking some time away, Mack recently made it clear he was interested in returning to coaching if a ‘good fit’ presented itself.

“For the first time since the whole Louisville time, I’m gonna sort of look at the options and see what’s out there and see if it’s a good fit,” Mack said, via Joe Danneman of FOX 19. “And if it is, then it’s probably something that I’ll end up jumping back into. But it has to be the right fit. I’ve learned a lot over the two head coaching jobs that I was fortunate enough to be a part of. So, you know, we’ll see.”

“… I need a purpose. … I miss it. There’s some things I really miss about the game, about being a part of the team day in and day out.”

It won’t be for Kentucky’s arch nemesis, but Chris Mack is back as a head coach.

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