Pastner in 2016
September 26, 1977|
Glen Dale, West Virginia
|Coaching career (HC unless noted)|
|Head coaching record|
|Accomplishments and honors|
3 C-USA Tournament (2011–2013)|
2 C-USA regular season (2012, 2013)
Sporting News C-USA Coach of the Year (2013)|
ACC Coach of the Year (2017)
Pastner was a player on the 1997 Arizona Wildcats men's basketball national championship team, and an assistant coach at the University of Arizona under Lute Olson and at the University of Memphis under John Calipari. He was named the 2013 Sporting News Conference USA Coach of the Year, and the 2017 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Coach of the Year.
Early and personal life
Pastner was born in Glen Dale, West Virginia, in the state's northern panhandle, the son of Marla and Hal Pastner. The family moved to Texas where his father is a high school/AAU coach and basketball promoter in the Houston area. His younger sister, Courtney, played guard in basketball for Kingwood High School, leading the All-Greater Houston Area in scoring her senior season with 23.2 points per game, and was named the 1999 All-Greater Houston Player of the Year, and the 1999 Gatorade "Circle of Champions" Texas High School Player of the Year, the 1999 Texas Girls Coaches Association Player of the Year (TGCA). He grew up in the Kingwood master-planned community of Houston, Texas. Pastner is Jewish, and attended Friday night services regularly when he was a college student. To keep connected with Judaism, he carries a copy of Rabbi Abraham J. Twerski’s Growing Each Day with him and reads it on the road, saying: "It keeps you grounded. Obviously, if you could live in a constant state of prayer, it would be awesome, but it’s way easier said than done. It gives you life lessons. I travel a lot, so it gives me a chance to read and make sure I don’t lose my values."
Pastner knew he wanted to be a coach since he was in the 5th grade. By the age of 13 he was publishing the Josh Pastner Scouting Report of local high school talent in the Houston area. At the age of 16, the Houston Hoops AAU summer squad was turned over to Pastner by his father, his first job as a head coach. While an AAU coach, Pastner coached future NBA players such as Emeka Okafor, T. J. Ford and Daniel Gibson.
He married Kerri (née Lamas) in 2009, and has a stepson, Ethan, and three daughters, Payten, Kamryn, and Harper.
Pastner attended the University of Arizona, and was a walk-on freshman on its 1997 NCAA championship basketball team. Pastner finished his degree in only two and a half years, taking as many as 33 units per semester. He earned his bachelor's degree in Family Studies from Arizona in December 1998. He finished his master's degree in Teaching and Teacher Education in December 1999, and then began work on his doctorate and started his coaching career in 2000 as a graduate-assistant under Lute Olson at Arizona. He was named Academic All-Pac-10 second team as a senior in 2000. He played for the Wildcats for four years under Olson.
Pastner served as an assistant coach under Lute Olson and Kevin O'Neill at the University of Arizona from 2002 to 2008. Prior to Olson's retirement, Pastner left the University of Arizona to serve as an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Memphis during the 2008-09 season. Pastner earned a reputation as a tireless recruiter during his years as an assistant coach.
On April 6, 2009, at 31 years of age, Pastner was selected to be head coach of the University of Memphis Tigers basketball team, replacing John Calipari. Pastner's first contract with Memphis was for $4.4 million over five years.
Pastner's recruits from the 2010 high school class were ranked as one of the best recruiting classes in the nation. Pastner was named Sporting News Conference USA (C-USA) Coach of the Year for the 2009–10 season.
After a 2010-11 season which included a Conference USA tournament championship and appearance in the 2011 NCAA tournament, Pastner signed a 5-year, $1.7 million (annually) contract extension with the Tigers. After starting his career 0-13 against ranked teams, Pastner coached the Tigers to a 73-68 victory over #5 Oklahoma State on December 1, 2013.
On March 21, 2013, the Tigers defeated Saint Mary's 54–52, giving Pastner his first NCAA tournament victory as a head coach. On the heels of his first NCAA victory and the signing of a top 5 recruiting class for 2013, Pastner's contract was extended through 2019–20 and his pay was raised to $2.65 million per year. He sometimes neglected his family to devote more time to recruiting. He said: "I was like I love my wife and children, but for the short-term that kid could help me beat Louisville. And my wife and daughter couldn’t. She understood. And so, we got that recruit."
The 2013–14 Tigers entered the season ranked #13 in the country, though the team ultimately earned an 8-seed in the NCAA Tournament and lost by 18 points in the Round of 32 to Virginia. The 2014–15 Tigers did not make the NCAA or NIT tournaments, which marked the first time in 15 years that the Tigers had missed the postseason. In his first seven seasons coaching, Pastner's teams won 70 percent of their games, going 167-73, and averaged 24 wins a season. He was tied for the 10th-most wins for a head coach in his first seven seasons in NCAA Division I basketball history, and had the second-most victories of any active coach under the age of 40 in Division I.
During the 2016–17 regular season, Pastner's Jackets knocked off Top 5 North Carolina at home, in his first coached ACC game at Georgia Tech. The Jackets also enjoyed quality wins at Virginia Commonwealth, at home against Top 10 Florida State, and Top 25 Notre Dame. Further improving throughout the season, Tech knocked off Syracuse and Pittsburgh late in February to finish 8-10 in the ACC. Tech was projected to finish last in the conference and to not win a single conference game in Pastner's first season. Because of the team's remarkable accomplishments, Pastner was named 2017 ACC Coach of the Year in his inaugural season.
Georgia Tech was selected to the National Invitation Tournament as a #6 seed in the Syracuse Bracket where they upset the Indiana Hoosiers at home 75-63. Georgia Tech defeated Belmont in Atlanta on March 19, 2017. A victory over Ole Miss put Georgia Tech in the NIT Final Four where they beat CSU Bakersfield. Georgia Tech played Texas Christian University (TCU) in the NIT Championship Game on March 30. TCU defeated Georgia Tech 88-56.
Professional players coached
Head coaching record
|Memphis Tigers (Conference USA) (2009–2013)|
|2009–10||Memphis||24–10||13–3||2nd||NIT Second Round|
|2010–11||Memphis||25–10||10–6||4th||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2011–12||Memphis||26–9||13–3||1st||NCAA Division I Round of 64|
|2012–13||Memphis||31–5||16–0||1st||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|Memphis Tigers (American Athletic Conference) (2013–2016)|
|2013–14||Memphis||24–10||12–6||T–3rd||NCAA Division I Round of 32|
|Memphis:||167–73 (.696)||82–36 (.695)|
|Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2016–present)|
|2016–17||Georgia Tech||21–16||8–10||11th||NIT Runner-up|
|Georgia Tech:||34–35 (.493)||14–22 (.389)|
Postseason invitational champion
Seven of Pastner's former assistant coaches have gone on to their own careers as head coaches.
- Jason Gardner: IUPUI (2014–present)
- Jack Murphy: Northern Arizona (2012–present)
- Willis Wilson: Texas A&M–Corpus Christi (2011–present)
- Damon Stoudamire: University of the Pacific (2016–present)
- Luke Walton: Los Angeles Lakers (2016–present)
- Glynn Cyprien: Memphis Hustle (2017-present)
- Tavaras Hardy: Loyola Greyhounds (2018-present)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Josh Pastner.|
- "College Basketball's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors." College Insider.
- Simpson, Corky (June 17, 2000). "Pastner rides the pine again – this time as a coach for Wildcats". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
- "Whiz-kid coach; At age 25, hoops-obsessed Arizona assistant Josh Pastner is on the fast track to a top job". Archived from the original on 2009-04-09. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- "Courtney Pastner," UHCOUGARS.com.
- "Josh Pastner", University of Memphis.
- "Talking to University of Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner, College Basketball's Rising Star," Tablet Magazine.
- "Pastner Not Saying ‘Dayenu’ After Big First Season," Atlanta Jewish Times.
- http://vault.sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1012246/index.htm[permanent dead link]
- "Josh Pastner," University of Memphis Athletics - Staff Directory.
- "Georgia Tech Names Josh Pastner Head Basketball Coach," JacketsOnline.com.
- "Josh Pastner profile". Archived from the original on 2009-03-22. Retrieved 2009-04-04.
- Ben Hansen. "How the legend of Josh Pastner was born", arizona.rivals.com.
- "At 38, Josh Pastner starting over at Georgia Tech", Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- "Pastner introduced as Memphis coach", Associated Press, April 7, 2009
- "Men's Basketball Recruiting," Scout.
- "Pastner Named Sporting News Conference Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on 2011-07-28. Retrieved 2010-03-23.
- "Josh Pastner, Memphis record narrative-changing win at Old Spice", CBS Sports.
- "Memphis survives frantic finish, beats St Mary's," US News and World Report.
- "Pastner, candidate at USC and UCLA, agrees to extension with Memphis," CBS Sports.
- "2013 Basketball Class Rankings," ESPN.
- "Pastner’s first days at Tech include little down time," Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
- "Boivin: Ex-Wildcat Josh Pastner proving he's more than great recruiter," The Arizona Republic.
- "Pastner: Ga. Tech rebound won't happen overnight". ESPN. Retrieved 2016-04-11.