May 22, 2017
Atlanta, Ga. – Georgia Tech Head Basketball Coach Josh Pastner will be honored by Positive Athlete Georgia as Georgia’s “Most Positive Collegiate Coach” on Tuesday, June 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-a Fan Experience. As part of the Fourth Annual Georgia Positive Athlete Awards, Pastner will join 28 high school student-athletes, two coaches and two other special awards for positivity including former Falcons coach Dan Reeves winning a Lifetime Achievement award.
Former Forest Park High School, University of Georgia and Pittsburgh Steelers star, Hines Ward, and local businessman Scott Pederson created Positive Athlete as a movement for more positivity in youth sports. In addition to excellence on the field, each nominated Positive Athlete was required to show characteristics such as an optimistic attitude, teammate encouragement, servant leadership, heart for others, ability to admit imperfections, giving 100 percent all the time, and realizing the team as more important than the individual.
“We’re excited to be honoring Coach Pastner this year” said Ward. “No one gave Georgia Tech basketball much of a chance to succeed this year, but Coach Pastner’s positive attitude was reflected through his players on the court through a tough ACC schedule all the way to the NIT finals.”.
Georgia Tech played in its first National Invitation Tournament championship game in 46 years in 2017, capping an inaugural season under head coach Josh Pastner which defied all pre-season projections and expectations. Tech won 21 games and compiled an 8-10 ACC record for the second straight year after being picked to finish 14th in the conference. Pastner was named ACC Coach of the Year, the third Tech basketball coach to receive that honor, and was named District 2 Coach of the Year by the National Association of Basketball Coaches. Along the way, the Yellow Jackets knocked off No. 9 North Carolina, the eventual national champion, No. 6 Florida State and No. 14 Notre Dame, as well as Boston College, Clemson, Pittsburgh and Syracuse in conference play. Tech defeated Indiana and Belmont at home in the first two rounds of the NIT, completing a school-record 17-win home schedule, then went on the road to defeat Ole Miss to reach its first NIT final four since 1971. Once there, the Yellow Jackets won their semifinal game over CSU Bakersfield before losing in the championship game to TCU.
“I’m truly honored to be recognized by Positive Athlete Georgia,” said Pastner. “I’ve always been a positive energy person, and have tried to coach that way from the beginning. The impact that the organization has on the lives of young athletes is necessary and worthwhile. I want to offer my congratulations each of the winners, and salute their work in the community.”
Positive Athlete Georgia, a subsidiary of parent company Celebrate Positive, LLC, is a group of high-character professional athletes who have teamed up to promote the benefits of positivity to young athletes around the world. Positive Athlete Georgia has also awarded regional winners of Positive Athlete awards in the metro area in which over $50,000 in scholarships have been awarded the past four years. Positive Athlete Georgia mirrors the successful program put together in Pittsburgh by Pederson and Ward. Positive Athlete Georgia’s website is designed to be the centerpiece of positive sports news in sports for the state of Georgia,