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.
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.
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.