Just when fans of the Xavier men's basketball team thought they were keeping their coach for another season, a new suitor has swooped in an effort to steal him away. But it looks like their efforts weren't quite good enough.
Multiple sources reported Thursday that California is interested in XU's budding young coach, Chris Mack, after former coach Mike Montgomery, 67, retired earlier this month. The former Stanford coach spent the past six seasons in Berkeley.
On Saturday , though, ESPN reporter Jeff Goodman reported that sources told him Mack, 44, has "decided to remain as the Musketeers' head coach after discussions regarding the California opening."
The news came just days after the middle-of-the-pack Pac-12 program had "strong interest in Mack, who is widely considered one of the top coaching prospects in the country, according to ESPN , even after Montgomery publicly pushed for assistant Travis DeCuire to get the job with the Golden Bears.
The Mack, a Cincinnati native, led the Musketeers to the NCAA tournament in four of his five seasons (111-57 record) since taking over in 2009 for Sean Miller who left for the job Arizona. Xavier reached the Sweet 16 in 2010 and 2012.
In March, Mack, a former player at Xavier player and member of Skip Prosser's staff, was connected to the then-vacant job at Wake Forest.
While that job ultimately went to former NBA star Danny Manning , Gary Parrish with CBSSports.com said the relationships Mack made while in Winston-Salem, N.C., left a lasting impression on those associated with the Demon Deacon basketball program.
Sources told CBSSports.com that "some of those boosters are now endorsing the candidacy of Mack, who is widely viewed as one of the top young coaches in college basketball."
"He is being targeted for sure," one source told CBSSports.com.
One reason Mack may want to stick around Xavier is his incoming class of recruits, the highest ranked class in Xavier history.
In November, Mack announced an impressive five-member recruiting class that is ranked in the top 10 nationally by most of the major recruiting services, including No. 4 by ESPN.com and No. 9 by Scout.com, according to the university's athletic department.
The star-studded class includes 6-6 small forward Trevon Bluiett from Indianapolis (Ind.) Park Tudor School, 6-9 power forward Makinde London from Montverde (Fla.) Academy, 6-5 guard J.P. Macura from Lakeville (Minn.) North High School, 6-9 center Sean O’Mara from Lisle (Ill.) Benet Academy and 6-4 guard Edmond Sumner from Detroit Country Day School.
Mack called the class "special."
“This is an awesome day for Xavier Basketball,” said Mack. “While many recruiting experts have labeled our five-man class as a top class nationally, we feel we have the best shooting class in the entire country.”
Neither Mack nor Xavier have commented on his status as head coach.