University of Louisville basketball coach Chris Mack is expected to hire a new assistant coach and one with a lot of connections to the NBA and international relations. Cardinal Authority has confirmed that Mack has hired Ross McMains, who has held various roles with the NBA and G-League and currently serves as an assistant coach with the New Zealand national team.
McMains will join Mike Pegues and Kahil Fennell as three full-time assistant coaches for the Louisville staff. Pegues is the only holdover from last season as Mack did not renew contracts and Dino Gaudio and Luke Murray. Pegues has been with Mack since arriving from Xavier, while Fennell was the director of basketball operations for the Cardinals for the first three seasons of the Mack era.
McMains, 32, also helped prepare for Agent Bill Duffy’s pre-NBA Draft for several years and coached the Australian NBL.
“He has connections all over the world,” a source said of McMains. “He knows a lot of people in the basketball world.”
Born in New Hampshire, McMains moved to New Zealand at the age of three with his family, then returned to the United States at the age of 11. After high school, McMains returned to New Zealand and found a job with the New Zealand Breakers in 2007. Before becoming a coach, McMains worked with player development and did so in Los Angeles for a while with several players. professionals before also working with players in Latvia, France and China.
It was then that he also started working with Duffy, who became one of the best agents for NBA players.
McMains’ coaching career in the NBA began as a special assistant with the Sacramento Kings for the 2012-13 season. He focused on player development in that role, then spent the next two seasons with Sacramento’s D-League affiliate – the Reno Bighorns.
In 2015, McMains returned to New Zealand and was appointed assistant coach of the New Zealand Men’s National Team. He went on to win the NZNBL Coach of the Year award in 2016 as the head coach of the Taranaki Mountainairs. From there he returned to the United States and spent two seasons in the NBA G League as an assistant coach with the Santa Cruz Warriors and Westchester Knicks, before joining the New York Knicks for the 2018-19 season as as a player development coach.
McMains was an assistant with Melbourne United in the Australian NBL last season.
In an interview with New Zealand’s largest and most popular news site – Stuff – in 2014, McMains said he became obsessed with coaching at a young age. He told the website he was coaching his first team at 11.
“My parents gave me this NBA playbook that had all of these random sets, and it fascinated me – all the X and Os stuff,” he told Stuff. “Between 12 and 18, that’s all I studied. Even in high school in America, I played on the varsity team and coached the sophomore team.