Basketball: Bears pursuing Xavier’s Chris Mack according to source, but another says no offer


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.

Jeff Faraudo

  • Steve Fischer

    He may be ok -media seems to think he has been offered.

  • BlakeStreetBear

    I agree with you Steve, I like this guy. His teams have succeeded and his tutelage was under Sean Miller, who obviously knows what he is doing…

    There is no way that the Xavier job is better than the Cal job, despite their recent inclusion into the Big East. If offered, he should come out West…let’s hope.

    I can see recruits wanting to play for this guy. His team brawled with Cincy a year or two ago, not a good thing necessarily, but it certainly shows that the team has heart in the always emotional rivalry games and that the coach teaches them to never back down. I think Cal coulda used a brawl this season just to get them going at times. I’m not advocating fighting, ever, just saying that a team that fights in a rivalry game is fired up to compete, maybe too much, but certainly better than how we got our butts handed to us by furd and ucla at home this season…

    Go Bears!

  • Steve Fischer

    We need a fix -because the early projections have UCLA , Arizona, Oregon, Stanford, Utah and Colorado all better than us next year. Give Monty some credit , he was smart enough to bail and leave fans like KC worshiping him. Branch Rickey always said -its better to get rid of someone a year too early than a year extra.

  • KC

    Whoa, easy there Steve Fischer. KC thought it was time for Monty to retire and the exasperated expression those who sat close to me at Haas saw the last several weeks of the season would indicate there was no worshiping happening. My argument is really around DeCuire deserving an opportunity in light of the fact we haven’t had any other high profile, tenured candidates emerging for the job. To be honest, I also want to hold on to our freshman class and not lose another round of transfers. If it’s b/w DeCuire and Russell Turner, as an example, I’d like to give DeCuire the opportunity. Mack changes things a bit yet I’d still be willing to take the risk with DeCuire.

  • Steve Fischer

    Fair enough KC. DeCuire can stay and be an assistant under Mack. Its not like if Arizona or Stanford are offering him a HC. he can use more experience and get us some of the 19 California propects.

  • KC

    But Arizona and Stanford aren’t looking for a head coach and, quite frankly, I think we’ll be more appealing to recruits with DeCuire as HC and not Monty. I don’t think Monty was a great asset in recruiting the last few years and it would be interesting to see what DeCuire could do on his own.

    Regarding Mack, I’m curious but why hasn’t he been a hotter commodity for other openings? He’s has a relatively low salary, great record of getting to the tourney the last few years, etc. Why haven’t I seen his name out there more often? What are we missing and why would he be looking to leave? Is he leveraging us for a raise?

  • KC

    And to be fair, you’re right, DeCuire hasn’t been offered any other HC jobs that we’re aware of either putting aside your silly comment about Arizona and Stanford, so he’s not exactly a hot commodity either. But the players want him and, quite frankly, I don’t think they’d be as passionate if he wasn’t equipped to be a head coach – my reasonable guess is that the current players want to win next year as much as we do as fans and don’t want to p;ay for a guy that can’t cut it.

  • Wehofx

    First “gettable” name I like more than decuire.

    Blake, agree this team had zero/negative chippiness. Last Year after “the Shove” our Bears went on their winning streak. Well times T’s have their place.

    steveTx, bitter much?

    Even after 10 days, you still have the compulsion to attack posters w anything even a remotely positive post on Monty?

  • Steve Fischer

    Monty has left us in the bottom half of the conference. Any Cal fan should be bitter. Bitter in general? Nah I don’t bear much about Cal unless I’m checking this site or see a note somewhere else- we are not on the national radar as a major bb program. Of course it would be nice have a program that was Top 25 so we could see the scores each game.

  • GoBears49

    Let’s get him. Four out of five years his team went to the NCAA’s and two of them were to the Sweet Sixteen. Only 45 years old so he could have a long career at Cal. One thing we don’t know is how he can recruit. Certainly doesn’t have any ties to the Bay Area.


  • Brent Nissu

    If X is a Mid major then what is Cal a Mid Minor. It would be a step down for him. ESPN recenltly did a 30 year top 25 and Xavier was 16th. Cal not on the list. Mack is not leaving X. By the way he is a native of Cincinnati not Cleveland.

  • Steve Fischer

    Are you a mid minor troll? Every team in the Pac 12 Big Ten etc is a Major. In addition Cal is a distinguished university-if it wasn’t for basketball -no one would have heard of Xavier at all.

  • Peter C.

    While I agree the gradient between the two programs is thinner than most Bear fans would like to believe, he’s apparently not being paid too much at XU (800+K). If Cal indeed made him an offer, I’m suspect he’s attempting to leverage it with his alma mater. If no dice, I think there’s a pretty good chance he’d bolt for 12 months of sunshine and some extra coin.

  • Eric

    Reports are that Mack is staying at Xavier.

  • Wehofx

    As usual, JF was right.

    On twitter, more reporting from – IMO – the only real journalist on Cal bb and fb beat:

    @JeffFaraudo: CBS Sports reporting that ex-Warriors coach Eric Musselman is now Cal’s primary focus for next basketball coach.

    Musselman can teach – see record in cba.

    Musselman – great sports name – vs decuire? Guess I’d take em. Best of both world’s, he finds a way to keeps decuire on staff.

  • Steve Fischer

    Are you on drugs?.. again? CBS reported this a couple of days ago. Why don’t you tell us what musselmans’ record was as an NBA coach ( 108-138) Perhaps you would be happy to see him duplicate that at Cal. Next tell us about his experience as a college coach?
    Finally read this

  • Wehofx

    You are an idiot or senile – probably both. You have lost the ability to write a coherent sentence and string sentences into a coherent paragraph.

    Are you attacking me for praising JF as a journalist?

    If so, check the time stamp of this chain. April 10, 3 days ago – idiot. It seems like you’ve lost the ability to tell the difference from today, yesterday and 3 days ago.

    I assume you’re attacking me because – quoting from your post – “CBS Sports reported this a couple of days ago.” You have clearly lost the ability to read and comprehend.

    Idiot, the quote in my post is from JF attributing “CBS Sports.” Are you too stupid to understand the complete lack of basic reading comprehension and critical thinking on your part?

    1) You have lost the ability to read and remember. 2) As stated above, you have lost the ability to tell the difference from yesterday and 3 days ago.

    JF was the first one to report that Musselman was no longer in the running in YESTERDAY’s sj merc – the story you posted the link. Why you’re attacking me now on Musselman I don’t quite understand, unless it’s because of point 2 above.

    You seem to be attacking me for saying Musselman was the perfect candidate. Nowhere in the post in question or any of the coupla other posts on Musselman, have I said he was the perfect candidate. I only said I preferred him over uci, nd and decuire. A FACT you will, no doubt, ignore.

    Quoting from the story you posted and did NOT read or were unable to comprehend, “He coached the Warriors to a record of 38-14 in 2002-2003, a 17 game IMPROVEMENT over the previous season and their best mark in 10 years. He was runner-up in NBA Coach of the Year voting.”

    The preceding quote and his record in the D league are the reasons I preferred him over, uci, nd and decuire.

  • Wehofx


  • Brent Nissu

    http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3493766 this ranked the top 40 programs since the tournament went to 64 team. Cal is not in the top 40, and X is 17. The Northwesterns, TCU’s and Cal’s of the world are not majors just because of their conference. You actually have to win. Forbes ranked X as the 5th wealthiest NCAA hoops team in the nation. On campus arena 11,000 per game. Help me here, how does the conference make you a good program. There is a reason you can’t find a coach while X has Prosser, Matta, Miller and Mack and according to ESPN the 10th best recruiting class next year. Again I am happy to talk facts, but you calling me a troll ain’t gonna do it.