By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
Five years ago, a headline such as this was most likely only a dream for Xavier fans, but as the 2016-2017 season approaches, it gets closer to becoming a reality. Chris Mack, entering his seventh season as the Sedler Family Men’s Head Basketball Coach, is becoming one of college basketball’s best and putting his name alongside some of the sports heavyweights.
After five seasons as an assistant to coach Sean Miller, Mack took the helm in 2009. Two seasons later, he had already won the Basketball Times Rookie Coach of the Year, followed by the 2010- 11 Atlantic 10 Coach of the Year. At this time, Xavier fans were beginning to recognize just how special Mack could be.
With much anxiety, we slowly watched him turn down job after job to stay with the Musketeers, something his predecessors became notorious for.
With all the success that Mack has brought to the program, the move to the Big East is clearly the most significant accomplishment, a move that has opened not only the basketball team but also the athletic department as a whole to an entirely new level in terms of matchups, notoriety and recruiting. A “mid-major” team suddenly found itself, thanks in large part to the previous success of Mack and his teams, in the college basketball spotlight.
As this dramatic shift was taking place at Xavier, Mack continued to lead the team with a steady hand, putting up wildly successful seasons as the team made the transition.
This past season was the brightest of all in Cincinnati. Not only did Mack lead the Musketeers to their highest ranking in school history and highest NCAA Tournament seed ever, but he also won multiple Coach of the Year awards for his leadership of the team.
Mack has put together an impressive resume to say the least.
He has led Xavier to six NCAA Tournaments in seven seasons, won almost 70 percent of his games, reeled in multiple top-10 recruiting classes and garnered numerous awards. It is clearly safe to say that Xavier has a special coach in Mack and that everyone at Xavier looks forward to the work he will continue to do at the helm.