April 8, 2016
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech has hired former Memphis head coach Josh Pastner to lead its men’s basketball program, Yellow Jackets’ director of athletics Mike Bobinski announced Friday.
Pastner, 38, compiled a 167-73 record over seven seasons as the head coach at Memphis, where the Tigers earned bids to the NCAA Tournament four times. He is tied for the 10th most wins for a head coach in his first seven seasons in Division I basketball history, and is the second winningest active coach under the age of 40 in NCAA Division I. He becomes the 14th head coach in Tech’s program history.
“Once we worked through everything, it became apparent that Josh best embodied all the characteristics we were looking for, best fit our current circumstances to take on the challenge of moving Georgia Tech basketball to higher levels of success was Josh Pastner,” said Bobinski. “He has got a really unique, interesting and long background in the game of basketball though he’s a relatively young man still. Basketball is in his DNA in a big way. He’s also a really driven and intense competitor, but one that cares deeply about his players. The culture that he created at Memphis dovetails closely to what we’ve established here at Georgia Tech. And he’s visible and involved member of the community. But the thing that has stuck out to me most is that he’s been around and been involved in a lot of success.”
Despite his young age, Pastner has been involved in basketball at the Division I level for 20 years, as a player and an assistant coach at Arizona, and as an assistant coach and the head coach at Memphis. He has been a part of teams that have won 490 games, played in 17 NCAA Tournaments and 18 total post-season events. Teams he has been involved with have won 12 conference tournament or regular-season championships, advanced to seven Sweet Sixteens, five Elite Eights, two Final Fours and two NCAA championship games.
As an NCAA head or assistant coach and an AAU head coach, he has coached nearly 25 NBA draft selections.
“I fully understand what it means to be sitting in this chair, what it means to the community and the entire city, and to all the alumni locally and nationally,” said Pastner. “When you’re in coaching, you want to play for a national championship and compete at the highest level. You want to have a championship program year in and year out. I believe that Georgia Tech and the job here is a true gold mine. You have an opportunity to have the highest level of success that you strive for.
“Coach Gregory and his staff had done an excellent job when you talk about the culture that was set forth in this program, Coach Hewitt took the team to the Final Four and had many great, great players in his program that are still playing in the NBA, and obviously what Coach Cremins had done. I talked to all three of them today and had great conversations with each of them.”
Pastner’s Memphis teams averaged 23.9 wins per season and compiled a conference regular-season record of 82-36, including a conference winning streak of 28 games. The Tigers went 11-4 in Conference USA and American Athletic Conference tournaments, including three championships.
He guided Memphis to five post-season berths, the NIT in 2010 and the NCAA Tournament in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. He became one of three head coaches in Tigers history to earn postseason berths in five of his first seven seasons (Larry Finch, John Calipari are the others), one of two to lead the program to four NCAA Tournaments in his first seven seasons (Dana Kirk is the other) and one of three head coaches in program history to lead the Tigers to four straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2011-14; joins Dana Kirk 1982-85, John Calipari 2006-09).
Pastner twice won Conference USA Coach of the Year honors (2010, 2013) by various organizations and news media. Known as a tireless recruiter, he was named the country’s No. 7 high-major recruiter by FoxSports.com following the 2007-08 season, and has signed five straight nationally-ranked recruiting classes, including the nation’s No. 1 class in 2010 and No. 2 class in 2013.
A native of Kingwood, Texas, Pastner was born in Glen Dale, W.Va. He earned his bachelor’s degree in family studies in December of 1998, in just two and a half years, from Arizona and his master’s degree in teaching and teacher education from Arizona in December of 1999, all while lettering four years in basketball for the Wildcats under head coach Lute Olson.
He married the former Kerri Lamas of Sierra Vista, Ariz., in 2009. He has a son (Ethan) and three daughters, Payten, Kamryn and Harper.
“Josh is a perfect fit. As a coach, as a leader and as a teacher he excels with today’s player. He will build a program that the entire community will be proud of.” – Kentucky head coach John Calipari “Josh is a good man, honest and a great recruiter. No one will work harder than him. Georgia Tech made a GREAT HIRE!” – retired Arizona coach Lute Olson
I love the Georgia Tech hire. Most of the league has older coaches, Josh will outwork em. Gets to build his own way,not follow Cal.
— Doug Gottlieb (@GottliebShow) April 8, 2016
PASTNER’S HEAD COACHING RECORD
|2009-10||Memphis||24-10||13-3||2nd||NIT second round|
|2012-13||Memphis||31-5||16-0||1st||NCAA Tournament, round of 32|
|2013-14||Memphis||24-10||12-6||t-3rd||NCAA Tournament, round of 32|
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBB).