Josh Pastner

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Josh Pastner
Josh Pastner Dec 2016 1.jpg
Pastner in 2016
Current position
TitleHead coach
TeamGeorgia Tech
Biographical details
Born (1977-09-26) September 26, 1977 (age 42)
Glen Dale, West Virginia
Playing career
Coaching career (HC unless noted)
2002–2008Arizona (assistant)
2008–2009Memphis (assistant)
2016–presentGeorgia Tech
Head coaching record
Accomplishments and honors
3 C-USA Tournament (20112013)
2 C-USA regular season (2012, 2013)
Sporting News C-USA Coach of the Year (2013)
ACC Coach of the Year (2017)

Joshua Paul Pastner (born September 26, 1977)[1][2] is an American college basketball coach, and the head coach of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets.

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[edit]

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.[3][4] 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).[5] He grew up in the Kingwood master-planned community of Houston, Texas.[6] Pastner is Jewish, and attended Friday night services regularly when he was a college student.[7][8] 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."[8]

Pastner knew he wanted to be a coach since he was in the 5th grade.[9] By the age of 13 he was publishing the Josh Pastner Scouting Report of local high school talent in the Houston area.[10] 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.[10][11] 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.[12]


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.[13] He earned his bachelor's degree in Family Studies from Arizona in December 1998.[12] 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.[11] He played for the Wildcats for four years under Olson.[12]

Coaching career[edit]

Pastner served as an assistant coach under Lute Olson and Kevin O'Neill at the University of Arizona from 2002 to 2008.[14][11] 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.[13][15]


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.[16][17] Pastner's first contract with Memphis was for $4.4 million over five years.[18]

Pastner's recruits from the 2010 high school class were ranked as one of the best recruiting classes in the nation.[19] Pastner was named Sporting News Conference USA (C-USA) Coach of the Year for the 2009–10 season.[20]

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.[21] 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.[22]

On March 21, 2013, the Tigers defeated Saint Mary's 54–52, giving Pastner his first NCAA tournament victory as a head coach.[23] 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.[24][25][26] 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."[27]

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.[28] 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.[12]

Georgia Tech[edit]

On April 8, 2016, Pastner was hired to be the new head coach at Georgia Tech. He became the 14th head basketball coach in the school's history.[12]

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.[29]

Professional players coached[edit]


Georgia Tech[edit]

Head coaching record[edit]

Season Team Overall Conference Standing Postseason
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
2014–15 Memphis 18–14 10–8 T–5th
2015–16 Memphis 19–15 8–10 7th
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
2017–18 Georgia Tech 13–19 6–12 13th
2018–19 Georgia Tech 14–18 6–12 10th
Georgia Tech: 48–53 (.475) 20–34 (.370)
Total: 215–126(.630)

      National champion         Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion         Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion       Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion

Coaching tree[edit]

Seven of Pastner's former assistant coaches have gone on to their own careers as head coaches.

Assistant coaches[edit]


  1. ^ "College Basketball's 50 Most Eligible Bachelors." College Insider.
  2. ^ Simpson, Corky (June 17, 2000). "Pastner rides the pine again – this time as a coach for Wildcats". Tucson Citizen. Retrieved February 13, 2014.
  3. ^ "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 April 9, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 12, 2014. Retrieved May 10, 2014.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Courtney Pastner,"
  6. ^ "Josh Pastner", University of Memphis.
  7. ^ "Talking to University of Memphis Head Coach Josh Pastner, College Basketball's Rising Star," Tablet Magazine.
  8. ^ a b "Pastner Not Saying ‘Dayenu’ After Big First Season," Atlanta Jewish Times.
  9. ^[permanent dead link]
  10. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 30, 2008. Retrieved April 4, 2009.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ a b c "Josh Pastner," University of Memphis Athletics - Staff Directory.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Georgia Tech Names Josh Pastner Head Basketball Coach,"
  13. ^ a b "Josh Pastner profile". Archived from the original on March 22, 2009. Retrieved April 4, 2009.
  14. ^ Ben Hansen. "How the legend of Josh Pastner was born",
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ [2]
  17. ^ "At 38, Josh Pastner starting over at Georgia Tech", Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  18. ^ "Pastner introduced as Memphis coach", Associated Press, April 7, 2009
  19. ^ "Men's Basketball Recruiting," Scout.
  20. ^ "Pastner Named Sporting News Conference Coach of the Year". Archived from the original on July 28, 2011. Retrieved March 23, 2010.
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ "Josh Pastner, Memphis record narrative-changing win at Old Spice", CBS Sports.
  23. ^ "Memphis survives frantic finish, beats St Mary's," US News and World Report.
  24. ^ "Pastner, candidate at USC and UCLA, agrees to extension with Memphis," CBS Sports.
  25. ^ [4]
  26. ^ "2013 Basketball Class Rankings," ESPN.
  27. ^ "Pastner’s first days at Tech include little down time," Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  28. ^ "Boivin: Ex-Wildcat Josh Pastner proving he's more than great recruiter," The Arizona Republic.
  29. ^ "Pastner: Ga. Tech rebound won't happen overnight". ESPN. Retrieved April 11, 2016.