Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner explains his vision and plan

From new Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner’s introductory news conference

The job

“What attracted me to this job, and I really believe this – when you’re in coaching, you want to have an opportunity to win a national championship. You want to be able to compete at the highest level. You want to have a championship program year in and year out. I truly believe Georgia Tech, the job here, is a true goldmine. You have an opportunity to have the highest-level success that you strive for and that is what excited me, and makes me so excited about this job.”


“Georgia Tech is a national brand, but we obviously want to protect home base and we’ve got to do a great job of that. That doesn’t mean every prospect here in the locale is going to be the right fit for Georgia Tech, and we might not be the right for them, but when we find the right fit, we want to target it and try and build a wall and a fence around that and keep them here.”

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“We’re going to take time, but we’re going to build a championship program that Georgia Tech alumni, students, faculty, whoever it may be, the city of Atlanta, can be very proud of their program.”


“Obviously, there’s four hall of famers in the league, and who knows, they could go another 10 years, but they could go another two years, one year, five years. Nobody really knows but they do. And when they decide to retire, obviously, their programs are not just going to fall off the map. They’re still going to be successful programs. The way I looked at it is this – I look at the challenge of selling and the vision of being able to compete at the very highest level.”

Tech’s academic advantage

“Sometimes now, in this day and age, a young man might feel he’s not playing enough and wants to leave or whatever it may be. I think the academic piece for this school, for the student-athletes that committed to come here, they’re committed to come not just for the basketball part, because that’s obviously a big part of, but they’re committed because of the academic piece as well, too. I think it’s a two-pronged thing here. And, again, that excites me.”

The end at Memphis

“It’s a very intense job. And I was a guy that understood it. I understood who I was following and, like I said, we averaged 24, 25 wins a year, but when you’re following a guy that was averaging, in the last four years, 30-some odd wins a year … Heck, we had one year where we had 18 straight wins. Most places, you build a statue (after that). But when the guy before you had 28 straight wins, you’re like … I understood it. Unfortunately, we had an injury or two that hurt us, (and) a late transfer. Otherwise, we probably would have been in the NCAA tournament back-to-back for the last two years.”

Playing style

“(At Arizona), we tried to lead the country in scoring every year and play as fast as possible. Coach (John) Calipari, we tried to play as fast as possible, lead the country in scoring. When I was at Memphis, we tried to play as fast and as up-tempo and have great pace. Everyone talks about their offense, even with our offense. But, part of that, all those teams that do (play up tempo), they share the ball really well. They have great ball movement, player movement and also they play good defense, but they just play hard. I’m a big 50-50 ball guy. You’ve got to come up with 50-50 balls. Those are winning plays.”

Offensive pace

“I want to play with great tempo, I want to have great ball movement and player movement. I think that’s really important. The more we share the ball – I call it ‘hot potato’ – you catch it, you move it, next guy move it, move it, move it, and you open up abilities to attack.”

Recruiting ambition

“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. You look at the former players that have been through this program at the level that they’ve been through here, you can get those type of guys.”

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