For years, stretching back at least to the Staak Era, the Xavier men's basketball coach has stood in front of a select group of high-ranking supporters of the program every January 20th to report on the year.
With the Provincial Superior looking over a crowd of dignitaries whose identities are kept in the strictest of confidence, Coach Mack stepped to the podium this evening. Thanks to a source inside the program, we got a copy of the transcript.
My fellow Jesuits,
It is my honor to stand before you as the Sedler Family Men's Head Basketball Coach. This past year has been a momentous one for our program. We finished our first season in the Big East, standing tall in the best basketball conference in the nation. We played under the bright lights in Madison Square Garden and rose to the occasion rather than shrinking from it.
That season didn't end how we wanted it to, but we continue to set down markers. Recruits are stepping back from programs like Tennessee and UCLA to join Xavier, helping us sign the most talented single class in school history. We went to Brazil in August to grow and compete as a team, learning about the culture and ourselves while we were there.
In this year, we have built a fortress at the Cintas Center. Fifteen opponents have entered; thirteen have gone home carrying a loss. We have defeated three ranked teams in front of our crowd.
We've also made it a home, opening our doors to someone who reminded us that there is more to life than basketball and showed us what real courage looks like.
[hold for somber applause]
The road - both the figurative road and the literal one - is not easy. New trials await us every time we leave Cintas, whether we are travelling across the conference or across the country. Take comfort, though: we may have lost at Dayton, but we did not lose to Dayton.
[pause for laughter]
The future is bright. Only yesterday my position was endowed by a generous gift, freeing up funds to continue to build our program into the crown jewel of the Queen City. And make no mistake, that is our goal. When people think of basketball in Cincinnati, they will think first and foremost that it is the city where Xavier plays.
This year will be filled with challenges. We have never played in a tougher conference, and there are no easy games on the schedule. The expectation remains the same: that we will give every ounce of effort we can summon for the cause, and when we have done that, we will give more. Every player, every coach, every member of staff is laying it out there on a daily and nightly basis. When you look back on this season, you may see Big East champions. You might see a Sweet 16 team, or a trip to the Final Four. I can't promise you any of that. What I can promise is that this team will not leave on iota of potential unfulfilled.
Thank you all for your support!
At least, that's how our source says it went down.