Pastner and staff working hard on the recruiting trail, mapping out development of Tech’s returning players
Josh Okogie scored a game-high 22 points, Jackets reach first NIT championship game since 1971
Tech’s first-year coach honored by Atlanta Tipoff Club
Basketball coaches add district honor to first-year Tech coach’s accomplishments
Georgia Tech 71, Belmont 57 - NIT second round
Images of Georgia Tech basketball coach Josh Pastner during his first season on the Flats.
Photos from Georgia Tech vs. Cal State Bakersfield in the 2017 NIT Semifinals on 3/28/17.
Game day images from semifinal day at the NIT, Georgia Tech vs. CSU Bakersfield
Photos from Georgia Tech vs. Pittsburgh at the ACC Tournament on 3/7/17.
March 4, 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
Josh Pastner, who guided Memphis to five post-season berths in seven seasons as the Tigers' head coach, was introduced as Georgia Tech's 14th head basketball coach on April 8, 2016, and wasted no time in getting the Yellow Jackets back to the post-season.
In his first season at the helm, his Yellow Jacket team defied all pre-season expectations by winning 21 games, including four in the National Invitation Tournament. Tech posted an 8-10 ACC record, which included victories over No. 9 North Carolina, No. 6 Florida State and No. 14 Notre Dame, 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.
After the season, Sports Illustrated honored Pastner as “Best At Beating SI’s Projections, Major Conference,” saying, “Last fall, a certain member of the punditry made the now-infamous claim that Pastner was presiding over one of the worst major-conference rosters ever. SI’s projection system wasn’t that harsh, but it didn’t love the Yellow Jackets, ranking them 204th in the preseason. Pastner proceeded to build the nation’s No. 6-ranked defense around rim-protector Ben Lammers. That helped Tech upset North Carolina, Notre Dame, Florida State and Syracuse in the regular season, finish as the NIT runner-up and rank 77th in efficiency.”
Implementing a high-energy style of play and creative offensive and defensive schemes, Pastner and his staff guided the Yellow Jackets all the way to the finals of the NIT for the first time in 46 years. 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.
At the same time, Pastner tirelessly promoted the program on campus and throughout the city of Atlanta in an effort to re-create the atmosphere that surrounded the Yellow Jackets throughout the 1980s, 1990s and into the middle of the 2000s. The result was a program-record 17 home wins at McCamish Pavilion, which sold out three times in the regular season and became a big homecourt advantage for the Jackets during their NIT run.
Pastner, 39, 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 the person who 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 a 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 did 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 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
|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|
|2016-17||Georgia Tech||21-16||8-10||11th||NIT finals|
|Georgia Tech||1 year||21-16||8-10|