NASSAU, Bahamas – The suspension of University of Louisville basketball coach Chris Mack has ended.
The fourth-year Cardinals head coach was suspended for six games at the start of the season by the college for handling Dino Gaudio’s dismissal last spring. But at midnight, the suspension is over and Mack is allowed to return to the offices and train his team.
Louisville finished time without Mack on the sidelines at 5-1, winning two games at the Baha Mar Hoops Basketball Championship to claim the title. Mike Pegues, who was the interim head coach with Mack gone, is glad the boss is returning.
“We’ll meet as staff tomorrow to re-acclimatize him,” Pegues said after his team whipped Maryland 61-53 in the title game, winning the battle on the backboards 51-25. “I’m sure he can’t wait to get back to what he loves to do and we can’t wait to get him back.
“We are delighted to get it back and to replenish our staff. “
Mack is expected to meet his staff on Sunday evening and will then meet his team for the first time on Monday. He will practice Monday and be on the bench Wednesday night when the Cardinals face Michigan State in the ACC / Big Ten Challenge in East Lansing, Michigan.
The U of L team has Sunday off.
“It’s a very unique situation and it was adversity from the start,” said U of L captain Jarrod West. “Just not seeing, talking to or communicating with him for three weeks is difficult. But all the coaches stepped up and they did a great job preparing us for training and being on top of us and challenging us and our main goal was to come here and get two wins. I can’t wait to get it back. We’re all so excited to get it back, we have a big game this week at Michigan State. “
Pegues joked that after being the head coach for six games, he was “going to be leaving the state of Michigan” for Mack.
“It sure was tough,” Pegues said. “But I’m super happy with our staff. Fuck me, Ross McMains, Kahlil Fennell, Taylor Barnette, Christen Cunningham, Seth Tatum, our entire support team, Kamari Wooten, Andy Kettler, Andrew Lentz, Kenny Klein, everyone in a man and a woman came together and got the job done and helped our guys get together. We have great people in our program, our administration is incredibly supportive, and Louisville basketball is in good hands, especially now with Coach Mack back.
Matt Cross added, “It’s going to be great to find him. I can not wait to see it.
The short stint as head coach will likely make Pegues a trivial matter for U of L fans at some point. Pegues ends his tenure as interim head coach with a winning percentage of 0.833, the highest of any coach in Louisville history.