What to know about Mike Pegues, Louisville basketball's interim head coach

Brett Dawson
Louisville Courier Journal

Meet the interim boss, same as the acting boss. 

On Wednesday, Louisville mutually agreed to part ways with men’s basketball coach Chris Mack. The Cardinals named assistant coach Mike Pegues as the program’s interim head coach, and he’s stepping into a familiar position. 

Pegues was Louisville’s acting head coach for the first six games of the regular season — and all practices and team functions during that time — while Mack served a university-mandated suspension stemming from his firing of former assistant coach Dino Gaudio.

“I have complete confidence in Mike Pegues, who did a tremendous job leading the team in November and I am comforted that he has agreed to lead us the rest of the season,” Louisville interim athletic director Josh Heird said in a news release. “We have set a high bar for expectations for our basketball program, on and off of the court, and we will continue to strive to meet those goals. We have world-class student-athletes, academics, facilities, tradition and fan support, and I am confident that we will be able to find the right new leader of our cherished men’s basketball program. As we conduct a deliberate and targeted search, our focus will continue to be on our student-athletes and I am confident that Cardinal Nation will rally around them.”

Pegues led the Cardinals to a 5-1 record, with the loss coming to Furman. Under his guidance, Louisville won the Baha Mar Hoops Bahamas Championship in Nassau, beating Mississippi State and Maryland. 

More on Pegues:As Chris Mack readies for a return, Mike Pegues has Louisville basketball rolling

“(Pegues) stepped up and took that role in a big way,” U of L center Malik Williams said after the Maryland game. “He held us to a standard — the same standard that Mack holds us to — and being a first-time head coach like that, it’s not easy. But I think he did a great job of asserting himself and remaining the same. He was the same guy all the way throughout.” 

How do you pronounce Mike Pegues’ last name?

It’s pronounced “puh-GEESE.” 

How old is Mike Pegues?

Pegues is 44. He was born in Washington, D.C., and played his high school basketball at prep powerhouse DeMatha Catholic. 

He’s been an assistant coach under Mack since 2012, when Pegues joined the staff at Xavier. He followed Mack to Louisville in 2018. Pegues previously worked as an assistant coach at Delaware and a video coordinator at VCU. 

Where did Mike Pegues play college basketball?

U of L acting head coach Mike Pegues instructs the team against Southern University during their game at the Yum Center in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 9, 2021.  The university is forcing head coach Chris Mack to sit out 6 games.  U of L won 72-60.

Pegues played at Delaware from 1996-2000, appearing in 123 games and starting 103. He averaged 16.5 points in his career, including a combined 21.3 per game his junior and senior seasons. 

UofL assistant coach:Who is Mike Pegues? A look at the assistant coach set to lead U of L basketball for 6 games

What is Mike Pegues’ salary?

Pegues agreed to a new three-year contract on May 1, 2021, and signed it on June 17. That deal pays him a base salary of $340,000 annually and contains bonuses for Louisville winning ACC regular-season and/or tournament championships or the NCAA Tournament title. 

Heird said Wednesday that he anticipates altering the terms of Pegues' contract as he takes over as the interim head c

Under teams of the contract, Pegues receives a $500 monthly car allowance and use of four Louisville men’s basketball and two U of L football season tickets. 

Is Mike Pegues a candidate for Louisville’s head coaching job?

It’s unclear if Pegues will be considered to replace Mack on a permanent basis. 

But after winning five of six games as acting head coach in November, Pegues — who joked that he might retire with a 5-1 career record — said the experience changed his perspective on his potential as a head coach. 

“Honestly, it served as an example that if I work hard and I really do the little things right, I can do this job,” Pegues said. “I can be a head coach. And I wasn’t always sure of that before this opportunity.”