Tag:Josh Pastner
Posted on: April 9, 2009 1:11 am
Edited on: April 9, 2009 1:12 am

Memphis trying to hire Baylor assistant

Memphis failed in its attempt to hire Baylor's Scott Drew.

Now the new Memphis coach is trying to hire one of Drew's assistants.

A source told CBSSports.com that Josh Pastner interviewed Jerome Tang on the Memphis campus Wednesday and offered the Baylor assistant a job. According to the source, Tang flew back to Waco, Texas, on Wednesday night and is mulling the offer. A decision is expected soon considering the April recruiting period begins Thursday at noon.

Tang just finished his sixth season at Baylor.

Posted on: April 8, 2009 5:09 pm
Edited on: April 8, 2009 5:14 pm

The Memphis class continues to fall apart

First Xavier Henry asked for a release from his national letter of intent with Memphis.

Then DeMarcus Cousins decommitted from Memphis and committed to Kentucky

Now Nolan Dennis wants a release from Memphis, too.

"We just want people to know that we are not going to attend Memphis because we were going to attend Memphis because of (John) Calipari," Carol Dennis, the mother of Nolan Dennis, told Scout.com's Evan Daniels on Wednesday. “We are going to wait and see what we are going to do from here.

"I think Nolan wants to go to Kentucky; I’m not for sure," she added. "But I know he’s not going to go to Memphis."

Just last week, Memphis had a five-player class some considered the best in the county, but Calipari's departure has killed any chance of it materializing. Junior college standouts Will Coleman and Darnell Dodson are the only Memphis recruits who haven't publicly decommitted.

Meantime, Josh Pastner isn't sleeping.


The new Memphis coach has not slept in days.

"I haven't slept since I got the job (on Monday)," Pastner told me this afternoon. "I've been up 48 hours straight."


Pastner said he plans to be in bed by 10 on Wednesday night, get a solid six or seven hours of sleep and be ready to hit the road recruiting Thursday. He'll start in the Memphis area, where Class of 2010 star Joe Jackson (of White Station High) is a clear priority.

Posted on: April 8, 2009 7:49 am
Edited on: April 8, 2009 7:54 am

Facebook's Megan Calipari has learned ...

Any honorable reporter gives credit where credit is due.

So let me take this opportunity to congratulate Megan Calipari on her first big scoop.


That's what John Calipari's daughter, Megan, typed as a status update on her Facebook page Monday, which set off a whirlwind of speculation and phone calls, among them one from Memphis athletic director R.C. Johnson to former Memphis coach John Calipari.

"R.C. called me," Calipari told CBSSports.com by phone early Wednesday. "He said, 'Do you know your daughter is on Facebook writing about Josh?"

Turns out, Johnson and Calipari had been in constant contact during the 24 hours leading up to Pastner's hiring. Ultimately, Johnson told Calipari he planned to tab Pastner as the Tigers' next coach after the school's interest in various other candidates was not returned.

"I was ecstatic," Calipari said.

So ecstatic, in fact, that he immediately called to tell his wife, Ellen.

Ellen was so ecstatic that she told her youngest daughter, Megan.

And Megan was so ecstatic that she told the world via Facebook.


"I called her and said, 'What are you doing!?!'" Calipari said. "She told me she was just saying yay for Josh."

Calipari learned of Megan's breaking news because of Johnson, who learned of it because Megan's status update had been copied and pasted on message boards, all of which was an eye-opening experience for the Calipari family. "You know what Megan said?" Calipari asked. "She said 'How gross is it that the whole world is watching what I do?'"

Note to Megan: This is the world in which you and your sister (Erin) now live.

Case in point, there are Facebook pages title We (heart) Megan Calipari and We love the Calipari sisters!!!

Both Erin and Megan are in college -- one at UMass, the other at Memphis.

"I told them that they have to get off Facebook," Calipari said. "This stuff is crazy."

Anyway, if you're reading, nice work, Megan.

Congrats on the scoop.

(And please shoot me an email if you hear anything about the Xavier hire.)

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: April 6, 2009 5:36 pm
Edited on: April 6, 2009 9:57 pm

Memphis hires Pastner

DETROIT -- Josh Pastner will be the next Memphis coach, a source close to the program has told CBSSports.com.

A news conference is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET.

Pastner is known as an elite recruiter from his time at Arizona, where he played for and assisted Lute Olson before joining John Calipari's staff last offseason. This is his first head coaching job. He is 31 years-old.

Before turning to Pastner, Memphis pursued Tim Floyd (USC), Mike Anderson (Missouri), Scott Drew (Baylor) and Leonard Hamilton (Florida State) to varying degrees, both formally and informally. Also, sources told CBSSports.com that officials working on behalf of Memphis reached out to UMass coach Derek Kellogg early Monday, but the officials were told Kellogg would not take the job because he felt loyalty toward his alma mater (UMass) and was concerned about going around good friend and former teammate Tony Barbee of UTEP, whom Calipari had endorsed as his successor.

And that's how Memphis got to Pastner.

Details of the deal in terms of money and years remain unclear.

Category: NCAAB
Posted on: October 24, 2008 6:42 am
Edited on: October 24, 2008 2:21 pm

Dear Gary (on possible Arizona replacements)

Here's Friday's Dear Gary ...

Dear Gary: How about a list of coaches or your views on who Arizona may consider to replace Lute Olson? ... I think Tennessee's Bruce Pearl would be a good candidate (after he buys a suit).

-- UKFan68

A Kentucky fan trying to get Pearl out of the SEC East, huh?

You sneaky devil you.

Seriously, what Pearl has done at Tennessee in three seasons is remarkable, so you'll get no argument from me about whether he'd be good at Arizona. But as I said minutes after Thursday's news came down, the two obvious top candidates to replace Olson on a permanent basis should be Gonzaga's Mark Few and Pittsburgh's Jamie Dixon.

Would either come right now?

No, not at this minute.

Both have Final Four-caliber teams and neither would relocate less than two weeks before Arizona's first exhibition. So what that means is that the Wildcats will likely use an interim this season (it'll be assistant Russ Pennell, according to a source) and then conduct a national search that should start and stop with Few or Dixon.

You want some other possibilities?

VCU's Anthony Grant would be intriguing, as would Washington State's Tony Bennett. And if athletic director Jim Livengood wanted to "keep it in the family" he could tab former Arizona player and assistant Josh Pastner, who is now at Memphis. Obviously, Pastner is only 31 and without head coaching experience. But if you think he's going to be good (and just about everybody does) then why not go for it if you are compelled to move quickly and strongly?

I mean, Billy Donovan was 28 when he got his first head coaching gig.

John Calipari was 29.

Those two have done OK, haven't they?

But again, I'm just throwing out Grant, Bennett and Pastner as back-up plans, because the first two options should be Few and Dixon. Both are experienced and proven winners with west-coast ties (Few has been in the WCC forever and is from Oregon; Dixon is from the Los Angeles-area and assisted Ben Howland at Northern Arizona in the mid-1990s) and still young enough (Few is 45, Dixon 42) to where it's reasonable to think they'll be going strong for at least another 15 years. And, yes, I honestly believe one of them (if not both) would accept an offer after this season under certain circumstances because they will both be facing revamped rosters in 2009-10, making it an ideal time to leave if they were ever going to leave (Gonzaga will lose Jeremy Pargo, Josh Heytvelt, Micah Downs and perhaps Austin Daye after this season; Pitt will lose Sam Young, Levance Fields and perhaps DeJuan Blair).

Now I know what you're thinking, Gonzaga and Pitt fans.

You're thinking that Few and Dixon have already turned down multiple opportunities to leave, that they love their jobs and wouldn't mind retiring from their current positions. I acknowledge all of that to be true. But you must understand Arizona is a different animal, one of the top 10 programs in America, and that it would be difficult for either to pass on this gig if they felt comfortable with the administration and received the money Arizona is capable of dishing out.

As for Few specifically, at what point does he become bored killing folks in the WCC? You’ve got to think he'll want to try something new at some point, and Arizona would be a great situation, about as good a situation as would ever present itself. So those would be the reasons for Few to leave Gonzaga, to face a new challenge and see if he can run one of the nation's power programs.

And trust me, he'd be great at Arizona.

But so would Dixon.

And to the Pitt fans who have already emailed to inform me that if Dixon was in a hurry to get back west he would've taken the California job after last season, I'll just ask whether you ever considered whether it's possible Dixon rejected California because he knew Arizona would be opening soon? It would be crazy to take the Cal job if you thought you could get Arizona a year or two later, wouldn't it? And as I pointed out in Thursday's column, nobody in basketball circles really thought Olson was going to last more than one more year, meaning it's pretty safe to assume Dixon saw this day coming and has long known he'd be an obvious candidate.

Anyway, that's my long answer to a short question.

Arizona should hire an interim coach, get through this season and then pursue Few or Dixon.

Assuming the Wildcats could get one of them, the program would be set for 15 years.

And then these tumultuous times would seem like a distant memory.

Posted on: May 8, 2008 11:24 am
Edited on: May 9, 2008 2:09 pm

Pastner leaving Arizona for Memphis

Josh Pastner, as expected, is leaving Arizona for Memphis.

A source close to the situation told CBSSports.com on Thursday morning that the 30-year-old assistant has agreed in principle to make the move and should be formally introduced in the coming days, soon as everything is signed and official. In the meantime, count this as a huge coup for John Calipari, who has hit a home run by luring the Arizona graduate to replace Derek Kellogg on the Memphis staff.

Kellogg, of course, left Memphis to become the head coach at UMass.

So if you're keeping track, Calipari's revamped staff will feature Pastner, John Robic and either Rod Strickland or a yet-to-be-determined member. Meanwhile, Lute Olson's staff will feature three new assistants. They are Russ Pennell, Mike Dunlap and a yet-to-be-determined member who will essentially fill the void left by the departure of Pastner.
Category: NCAAB
Posted on: May 7, 2008 12:01 pm
Edited on: May 7, 2008 12:03 pm

Livengood's thoughts on Pastner possibly leaving

I've got a column going up later today about the wackiness at Arizona and the difficult task facing AD Jim Livengood.

I spoke with Livengood for about 30 minutes yesterday.

He was candid and addressed everything.

But one interesting tidbit I didn't get to in the column (but thought I'd share with you here) is the seemingly imminent departure of assistant Josh Pastner. To be clear, Livengood said he still wasn't sure whether Pastner will accept an offer to join John Calipari's staff at Memphis. But it's worth noting Livengood didn't sound like a man who expects Pastner to return.

Should Pastner return?

Actually, Livengood said he isn't sure staying at Arizona is best for Pastner.

He explained why in great detail.

"I have personal experience with this," Livengood said. "When I first got to Washington State ... I had no idea that I wanted to be an AD. But after I had been there two or three years I thought, 'You know, I want to be an AD.' And I was not going to be an AD by staying at Washington State. I needed to go somewhere. And the people that counseled me and counseled me very well would've loved to have had me stay at Washington State, but they would not have been helping me. They would not have been serving me. They would've been serving themselves. So I went to Southern Illinois and was there for 22 months and came back as the AD at Washington State.

"Now I don't want you to misread that," Livengood added, "but Josh's entire career as a walk-on student-athlete from Houston, Texas has all been with Arizona. ... So I would love to have him stay. But I'm also interested in what is in the best interest of Josh. His ultimate goal is very simple: He wants to be a Division I head coach as soon as he possible can be. .. We've talked about it a ton every day. He knows how badly I want him to stay. But at the same time, I tell him every day, 'Josh, this needs to be about you. This needs to be about what's in your best interests' because one of the things I can help him with is if he's trying to become more attractive as a future Division I head coach. That part doesn't have anything to do with Arizona or Lute (Olson). It has everything to do with somebody looking at him and saying, 'OK, what kind of background does he bring to the table?' and that's hard for me to say because what a lot of people would like me to say -- and what a lot of people are critical of me for not saying -- is that he's so loyal and he is Arizona basketball and he's done an incredible job recruiting and he's extrememly popular in Tucson and we need to keep him and never let him go. Well, I don't disagree with that. But at the same time, that's probably very selfish, as well."

Translation: Expect Pastner to land at Memphis in the spirit of broadening his resume and becoming familar with C-USA.

Then expect him to become a bigtime candidate for a C-USA school in Texas in the coming years.

At Houston, perhaps
Category: NCAAB
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