Cal’s latest basketball coaching target is Chris Mack, who has taken Xavier to the NCAA tournament four of the past five seasons, according to a source.
Multiple media outlets are reporting the story, but a separate source within the Cal athletic department told me at about 12:30 today the Bears have not offered the job to Mack and had not, to that point, discussed it with him.
Mack, 44, has guided the Musketeers to a five-year record of 111-57 since replacing Arizona-bound Sean Miller as coach for the 2009-10 season.
Xavier was 21-13 this season, including 10-8 in its debut in the Big East Conference, and lost to North Carolina State 74-59 in a first-round NCAA game at Dayton, Ohio.
Mack did not immediately respond to a voicemail message.
Cal is in its 10th day of a search to replace Mike Montgomery, who retired on March 31 after six seasons at Berkeley.
Mack is a native of Cleveland and a 1993 graduate of Xavier.
Xavier was 26-9 and tied for first in the Atlantic-10 Conference in Mack’s first season as coach in 2009-10. His team reached the NCAA’s Sweet 16, before losing to Kansas State 101-96 in double-overtime.
Mack’s 2010-11 team was 24-8 and outright champions of the A-10 Conference at 15-1, but lost its NCAA opener. A year later, the Musketeers were 23-13 and advanced to the Sweet 16 before falling 75-70 to Baylor.
In 2012-13, Xavier was 17-14 and failed to qualify for the NCAA tournament for the only time in Mack’s five seasons.
Mack is signed to a contract through the 2017-18 season that is worth $860,000 per season, according to USA Today.
Married and the father of two daughters, grew up in Cincinnati and was the Cincinnati Post’s Greater Metro Player of the Year as a senior at St. Xavier HS in 1987-88.
He began his college playing career at Evansville, but transferred to Xavier for his final two seasons.
He was named Xavier’s director of operations under coach Skip Prosser in 1990-91 and followed Prosser to Wake Forest as an assistant coach from 2001-02 through 2003-04.
He returned to Xavier in 2004-05 to work under Miller for five seasons before replacing him as head coach.