Ohio State hired a new basketball coach yesterday.
It's not Chris Mack.
In recent years, schools like Florida, Wake Forest, Minnesota, Cal, and Georgetown have also hired basketball coaches.
None of them were Chris Mack.
Ohio State's sloppy, oddly-timed dismissal of Thad Matta, who was replaced with Chris Holtmann of Butler, ignited another round of Chris Mack speculation, with hot takes about why he should take Ohio State's phone call, how this time, Mack would be presented with a job offer that he simply could not refuse, how coaching the Buckeyes and leaving Xavier would allow Chris Mack to capture previously unattainable riches and glory while occupying an office that's among college basketball's most coveted.
Meanwhile, few paused to wonder if, you know, maybe, Chris Mack is happy with the job he has.
Happiness is both anecdotal and relative. One person's contentment is another's misery. Your single friend that seems just fine not jumping into relationships, your coworker who goes on vacations by herself, you favorite radio host who you think should have the initiative to find a job in a bigger market. Running the Men's Basketball program at Xavier. Those things might not make you happy.
Others will be perfectly fine with those lots in life.
Chris Mack, both publicly, and the little I've been around him privately, has always seemed perfectly content with his lot in life. Living in the area he grew up in. A happy family. Making a very comfortable living. Running a successful, high-profile college basketball program at a place that values success in the sport, has well built-in support, and, well, makes him happy.
Could he be happier at Ohio State? Somewhere else? Maybe. But the people I know who've achieved certain levels of personal and professional fulfillment don't spend much time chasing higher levels of contentedness. That doesn't make them any less driven, and it doesn't mean they'll remain in the same places forever. But true happiness is hard enough to realize, once you've realized it, why mess with it?
I know, I'm going deeper than I should here, but while we love to frame one college basketball job as "better" than the others, and as we put ourselves in the shoes of people who have the kinds of professional opportunities you and I can only dream of, it seems like we don't wonder enough if the coaches we speculate so much about are simply happy enough with the gigs they have.
There's a lot about Chris Mack's job that should make him happy. Xavier has one of the best programs in a good basketball league. A Final Four, and maybe more, is attainable. The arena is being upgraded. The recruits continue to come. The fans are happy. The pay is good.
This weeks won't be the last time Chris is mentioned as a possible candidate elsewhere, and Ohio State won't be the last school to inquire about the XU's coach's willingness to move (Yes, there are more than a few people will believe that whenever Rick Pitino's job comes open, Louisville will make a hard push at luring Mack down I-71). Maybe one day Chris Mack will weigh his current situation against another opportunity and go elsewhere.
Right now, though, he seems perfectly happy with the job, and the life, he has.