A year ago Saturday, Georgia Tech made Josh Pastner its successor to Brian Gregory. Word trickled out late April 7, 2016, and was made official early in the afternoon.
My memories of the day – I had to break an appointment to donate blood platelets, which I’d scheduled for that morning, a Friday. I don’t think I ever went to sleep after the story broke in the middle of the night. There wasn’t a great deal of enthusiasm for the hire (except in Memphis), and that is probably being generous.
That morning, I got a three-word text from an industry source who I’d been communicating with during the search: “Brutally bad hire.” (For the record, it was not Pastner’s agent.)
A sampling of the coverage from around that time.
“We are now in really the last stages of all that. Folks have emerged as those that are most interested and most likely to fit our circumstances and we will bring that to a conclusion just as rapidly as we can.”
There was enough speculation near the end of the season regarding a possible dismissal that the school released a statement announcing his retention and its support of Pastner.
Georgia Tech has made its hire of Memphis coach Josh Pastner official, introducing him to local media Friday afternoon.
I’d love to be wrong about this hire.
So do it, Josh. Prove me wrong.
Forwards Romello White (Wheeler High) and Christian Matthews (Fort Washington, Md.) and guard Josh Okogie committed to Tech, but coach Brian Gregory and his staff undoubtedly were part of the draw.
With eight returnees on the roster, only four of whom played significantly this past season, Pastner will need as many bodies as he can.
“The last thing you can do is rush into it. So that’s what I want to do, is take my time and if I’m by myself for a little bit, it is what it is, and we’ll just deal with it and I’ll do the best I can until we get some guys in here.”
“The culture here is so great that Coach (Brian) Gregory and his staff have left, that I know these guys are going to fight and scrap and are stepping on the floor to win games every time we step on the floor next season. But, moving forward, with the recruiting classes moving forward, we want to get the best talent that we can get, the right fit for Georgia Tech both academically and athletically.”
“Pastner is energetic, optimistic and liked by his peers. But as he fended off slings the past two seasons, his father saw a heaviness in him. Hal Pastner told his son that the troubles were blessings, and that he would someday understand.”
Commercial Appeal of Memphis, Tenn.: Quick thoughts on Josh Pastner and Georgia Tech
“It’s the best possible news for Memphis and Memphis basketball.”