Louisville fired head coach Chris Mack this week. As far as what’s next for the Cardinals, there are numerous options on the table, or at least wishlist, according to CBS Sports’ Matt Norlander. Joining CBS Sports HQ with Amanda Guerra, Norlander named eight possibilities, but four were very unlikely to be in the running or approached by the Cardinals. Nonetheless, there will be a pursuit of big-name coaches.
There were rumblings of Mack and the school parting ways prior to his firing until it finally came to fruition. Mack was asked if he deserved more time to be the coach at Louisville.
“I’m not going to speculate on that,” he said. “I appreciate the questions. It’s a hard place. You’ve got to win games, but you know, we’re in the right place… Obviously, we all want the best for Louisville. I still do. That’s not going to change. I’m humble enough that if I’m not the right person, all good man, I just want the best for them. They’re great kids.”
Norlander listed four coaches that should be on Louisville’s wishlist as their next head coach. He also provided four coaches that would be intriguing names, but are unlikely to fill the void with the Cardinals and would likely stay with their current situations.
Let’s break down the four intriguing candidates and the four unlikely candidates for the Louisville head coaching vacancy, listed by Norlander on CBS Sports HQ.
KENNY PAYNE, NEW YORK KNICKS ASSISTANT
Norlander: “You’ll have Kenny Payne, who’s currently an assistant with the Knicks. He’s a former Kentucky assistant and played at Louisville. I’ve already heard buzz about Kenny Payne.”
Payne joined the Knicks staff in 2020 and is an intrguing option to return to the college game. He coached under John Calipari at Kentucky and was with the Wildcats as an assistant from 2010-20. He was also an assistant at Oregon from 2004-09. Notably, he played at Louisville, so what better guy to bring back and inject juice into the program? He does remember how to win a national title, since he was on the 1986 title squad.