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Josh Pastner
Head Coach

Josh Pastner

Head Coach

Year 4
Alma Mater Arizona, 1997
Hometown Kingwood, Texas
ACC Coach of the Year 2017
Josh Pastner

Biography

 

After guiding Memphis to five post-season berths in seven seasons as the Tigers’ head coach, Josh Pastner became Georgia Tech’s 14th head basketball coach on April 8, 2016.

Implementing a high-energy style of play and creative offensive and defensive schemes, and building the Jackets’ talent base for the future, Pastner has established the Yellow Jackets as one of the top defensive teams in the nation, while he and his staff have steadily improved the team’s offense to be ranked in the top half of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Pastner has tirelessly promoted the program on campus and throughout the city of Atlanta in an effort to re-create the major homecourt atmosphere that surrounded the Yellow Jackets throughout the 1980s, 1990s and into the middle of the 2000s. The result has been numerous wins, high excitement and 13 sellouts in four seasons at McCamish Pavilion.

Four of his players – guards Josh Okogie, Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe, as well as centers Ben Lammers and James Banks III – have earned Atlantic Conference honors during his tenure. Okogie, in particular, developed from an under-the-radar high school prospect into a highly-regarded NBA prospect, having been selected 20th in the 2018 NBA Draft, while Lammers has had a successful first two years as a pro in Europe.

 

At-A-Glance

Name:  Josh Pastner  |  Birthdate:  September 26, 1977 in Glen Dale, W.Va.  |  Hometown:  Kingwood, Texas

Family:  Wife Kerri, children Payten, Kamryn, Harper, stepson Ethan  |  Joined Tech Staff:  April 8, 2016

Education:  Master’s degree in teaching and teacher education from Arizona in 1999; Bachelor’s degree in family studies from Arizona in 1998

Playing Experience:  Lettered four years at Arizona (1996-2000).

Coaching Experience:  Head coach at Georgia Tech (2016-present), Head coach at Memphis (2009-16); Assistant coach at Memphis (2008-09); Assistant coach at Arizona (2002-08); Video/recruiting coordinator at Arizona (2000-02)

Honors:  ACC Coach of the Year (2017); NABC District 2 Coach of the year (2017); Conference USA Coach of the Year (2010, 2013); Inducted into the Jewish Sports Heritage Association in 2019

Post-Season as a player and coach:  Member of NCAA Championship team at Arizona (1997); Member of two Pac-10 conference championship teams at Arizona as a player, three as a coach; Coached Memphis to four Conference USA tournament and/or regular season titles; Coached teams to 13 NCAA Tournament appearances


Introductory press conference  |  A Closer Look at Coach Pastner


Pastner has the ability to blend old-school philosophies with fast-paced, modern societal norms. — Atlanta Jewish Times, June 7, 2017


Cremins recognizes Pastner’s good work at Tech — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 27, 2017


Josh Pastner reflects on Georgia Tech’s ‘surreal’ ACC regular season — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, March 5, 2017


Mike Bobinski looks back at the hiring of Josh Pastner — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 23, 2017


ACC coaches heap praise on Georgia Tech, Josh Pastner — Atlanta Journal-Constitution, February 20, 2017


Michaux: New Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner has drive, energy – Augusta Chronicle, July 7, 2016



Follow Coach Pastner on Twitter

FULL BIO

After guiding Memphis to five post-season berths in seven seasons as the Tigers’ head coach, Josh Pastner became Georgia Tech’s 14th head basketball coach on April 8, 2016.

Implementing a high-energy style of play and creative offensive and defensive schemes, and building the Jackets’ talent base for the future, Pastner has established the Yellow Jackets as one of the top defensive teams in the nation, while he and his staff have steadily improved the team’s offense to be ranked in the top half of the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Pastner has tirelessly promoted the program on campus and throughout the city of Atlanta in an effort to re-create the major homecourt atmosphere that surrounded the Yellow Jackets throughout the 1980s, 1990s and into the middle of the 2000s. The result has been numerous wins, high excitement and 13 sellouts in four seasons at McCamish Pavilion.

Four of his players – guards Josh Okogie, Jose Alvarado and Michael Devoe, as well as centers Ben Lammers and James Banks III – have earned Atlantic Conference honors during his tenure. Okogie, in particular, developed from an under-the-radar high school prospect into a highly-regarded NBA prospect, having been selected 20th in the 2018 NBA Draft, while Lammers has had a successful first two years as a pro in Europe.

In year four of Pastner’s rebuilding of the Tech program, the Yellow Jackets posted a 17-14 record in 2019-20, winning nine of its last 12 games, including six of the last seven. Tech finished with the program’s first winning ACC record since 2004, its highest ACC finish since 2005 (fifth) and its most conference victories (11-9 record) since 1996.

The Jackets ranked No. 17 in the nation in defensive efficiency while finishing ninth in the ACC in scoring against league teams, second in field goal percentage and sixth in three-point percentage.

Three players – guards Jose Alvarado (All-ACC third team), Michael Devoe (All-ACC honorable mention) and center James Banks III (ACC All-Defensive team) – earned conference honors.

In his first season at the helm, his Yellow Jacket team defied all pre-season expectations by reaching the post-season and advancing to the finals of the National Invitation Tournament. Tech earned victories over No. 9 North Carolina, No. 6 Florida State and No. 14 Notre Dame (later vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions), who all finished among the top four in the ACC regular season. He was named Coach of the Year in the ACC and in NABC District 2.

Two of his players earned all-Atlantic Coast Conference honors; junior center Ben Lammers was named second-team All-ACC and ACC Defensive Player of the Year, while freshman guard Josh Okogie was named to the ACC All-Freshman team.

Though hampered by several significant injuries and other issues in 2017-18, Tech still was able to knock off a pair of top-25 teams while Lammers and Okogie again earned conference honors, and Okogie developed into an NBA first-round draft choice. In 2018-19, the Yellow Jackets picked up three significant road wins – at Arkansas, Syracuse and NC State, each of whom made post-season play.

He was honored in April of 2019 with his induction into the Jewish Sports Heritage Association.

Pastner, 42, 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 was 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 is the 14th head coach in Tech’s program history.

“Coach Pastner’s accomplishments on the floor speak for themselves but what makes him such a great fit at Georgia Tech is the culture that he has established for our men’s basketball program,” director of athletics Todd Stansbury said. “His energy, his positivity and his commitment to do things the right way are all attributes that not only lead to success on the court but also set our student-athletes up for success after graduation, and are a source of pride for our alumni, students and fans.”

Despite his young age, Pastner has been involved in basketball at the Division I level for 21 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 524 games, played in 17 NCAA Tournaments and 19 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.

“I love Georgia Tech and the time I’ve spent here. The success we have had is a direct result of my staff and the unbelievable job they did, the players who bought in and performed so well, and the fans who gave us the home-court advantage we need. I’m grateful to [Georgia Tech] President [Angel] Cabrera and Todd Stansbury for the tremendous support we have, and for seeing the big picture and where we want to go as a program.”

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.

Pastner was born in Glen Dale, W.Va., and grew up in Kingwood, Texas. 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 stepson (Ethan) and three daughters, Payten, Kamryn and Harper.


“The transformation’s unbelievable,” he said. “It’s incredible for a team to be picked last, next to last, and to do what they’re doing. To me, it’s one of the best stories in college basketball right now. Again, you’ve got to give Brian (Gregory) some credit, but Josh Pastner has taken this group together, and it’s amazing. And everybody feels it.”– former Tech coach Bobby Cremins


“I like how he’s tweaked his system to fit his players. That lets me know he knows what he’s doing. I think that’s half the battle. But the energy, the effort, they play hard — that’s worth watching. That’s worth watching.” – former Tech All-American Dennis Scott


“It shows that, when you have guys working together, really good coaching, the improvement of players … Josh has done a great job with his staff, and it’s a great story. They’re five guys playing as one. They’re a solid unit that has good concepts offensively and defensively. And then the improvement of a player of Lammers from one year to the other, and Jackson, too. They’re great for our league. It shows how strong our league is.” – Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski


“I think Josh has done a fabulous job. He’s done some really unique things on both ends of the floor. With what they’re doing with their triangle stuff offensively is a difficult preparation. It’s very, very hard to guard. And then the changing zone defenses and then you’ve got the rim protector in (Ben) Lammers back there, they’re hard to score against. They’re just a really tough preparation and it certainly isn’t a fluke.” – Notre Dame’s Mike Brey


“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


Pastner’s Head Coaching Record

SeasonSchoolOverallConferencePostseason
2009-10Memphis24-1013-3/2ndNIT second round
2010-11Memphis25-1010-6/4thNCAA Tournament
2011-12Memphis26-913-3/1stNCAA Tournament
2012-13Memphis31-516-0/1stNCAA Tournament, round of 32
2013-14Memphis24-1012-6/t-3rdNCAA Tournament, round of 32
2014-15Memphis18-1410-8/t-5th
2015-16Memphis19-158-10/7th
at Memphis7 years167-7382-36
2016-17Georgia Tech! 21-16! 8-10/11thNIT finals!
2017-18Georgia Tech! 13-196-12/13th
2018-19Georgia Tech14-186-12/10th
2019-20Georgia Tech17-1411-9/5th
at Georgia Tech4 years! 65-67! 31-43
Career11 years! 232-140! 113-79

! On-court record (22 wins and one loss from 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, as well as Tech’s NIT appearance, vacated by the NCAA Committee on Infractions)

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