Tech hires Memphis' Pastner as men's basketball coach

- Georgia Tech hired University of Memphis Coach Josh Pastner as its new men’s basketball coach Friday. Pastner, 38, will succeed Brian Gregory who was fired by Tech last week after failing once again to reach the NCAA tournament.

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Pastner served as the head men’s basketball coach from 2009-16, and amassed a 167-73 record. During his tenure, Memphis won five conference championships (three tournament and two regular-season), participated in four NCAA Tournaments from 2011-2014, and made one NIT appearance.

Pastner has recently been a lightning rod in Memphis with the Tigers failing to reach the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years.

Observers regarded the buyout to his contract of more than $10 million as a key reason Pastner wasn't fired at the end of last season.

Memphis announced in March that it would retain Pastner.

In a statement last month, Memphis President David Rudd and athletic director Tom Bowen said the school would "make the necessary investments and changes" so it could "compete at the highest level."

On Friday, both Rudd and Bowen issued statements congratulating Pastner.

"Josh Pastner has represented the University well during his time as a Tiger. We wish Coach Pastner the very best as he leaves the University of Memphis to continue his career at Georgia Tech," said Rudd.

“I want to congratulate Coach Pastner and wish him and his family continued success in his new role at Georgia Tech,” said Bowen. “Coach Pastner guided our program with integrity, high academic standards, and a commitment to the Memphis community. I enjoyed working with Coach Pastner here at Memphis.”

Pastner averaged more than 24 wins over his first six seasons. His 148 victories at that point made him the ninth-winningest coach in Division I history for his first six seasons. He joined John Calipari, the coach he succeeded at Memphis, as the only Tiger coaches to win 18 or more games each of his first six seasons.

The Tigers have gone 37-29 over the past two seasons. They went 19-15 last season and lost 72-58 to Connecticut in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Gregory, 49, replaced Paul Hewitt in 2011 and did not take the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA tournament during his tenure. He was 76-86 overall and 27-61 in ACC play.

Georgia Tech finished 21-15 (8-10 ACC) last season. The team made the postseason for the first time in Gregory's five seasons, winning two games in the NIT before losing in the quarterfinals.

Athletic director Mike Bobinski said the team's failure to make the NCAA tournament factored into his decision to dismiss Gregory.

"It's hard to deny that would have given us a different thought," Bobinski said in a news conference., 38, will succeed Brian Gregory who was fired by Tech last week after failing once again to reach the NCAA tournament.

The move comes after Pastner’s Memphis teams missed the postseason the past two years, following four straight NCAA tournament appearances from 2011-2014.

Memphis announced in March that it would retain Pastner.

In a statement last month, Memphis President David Rudd and athletic director Tom Bowen said the school would "make the necessary investments and changes" so it could "compete at the highest level."

Pastner, 38, has a 167-73 record at Memphis after taking over when John Calipari left for Kentucky seven years ago.

Pastner averaged more than 24 wins over his first six seasons. His 148 victories at that point made him the ninth-winningest coach in Division I history for his first six seasons. He joined Calipari as the only Memphis coaches to win 18 or more games each of his first six seasons.

The Tigers have gone 37-29 over the past two seasons. They went 19-15 last season and lost 72-58 to Connecticut in the American Athletic Conference championship game.

Pastner has recently been a lightning rod in Memphis with the Tigers failing to reach the NCAA Tournament in back-to-back years. 

Observers regarded the buyout to his contract of more than $10 million as a key reason Pastner wasn't fired at the end of last season.

Gregory, 49, replaced Paul Hewitt in 2011 and did not take the Yellow Jackets to the NCAA tournament during his tenure. He was 76-86 overall and 27-61 in ACC play.

Georgia Tech finished 21-15 (8-10 ACC) last season. The team made the postseason for the first time in Gregory's five seasons, winning two games in the NIT before losing in the quarterfinals.

Athletic director Mike Bobinski said the team's failure to make the NCAA tournament factored into his decision to dismiss Gregory.

"It's hard to deny that would have given us a different thought," Bobinski said in a news conference.

 

 

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