Josh Pastner on his appearance in ‘One Shining Moment’

A screen capture of Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner from the "One Shining Moment" video produced by CBS for the championship game on April 5, 2021. (Youtube)
A screen capture of Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner from the "One Shining Moment" video produced by CBS for the championship game on April 5, 2021. (Youtube)

Georgia Tech coach Josh Pastner likely made television history with the traditional airing of “One Shining Moment” at the conclusion of the NCAA Tournament national championship broadcast late Monday night – he most likely became the first person to appear in the beloved video montage salute to the tournament wearing a face shield.

While the Yellow Jackets’ first trip to the tournament since 2010 was not long, it was documented in One Shining Moment with a shot of Pastner smiling behind his ubiquitous personal protective equipment and pointing off-camera. Watching the conclusion of the broadcast at home with his wife, Kerri, Pastner thought he might appear (a friend had texted him predicting it, as the face shield became something of a symbol of the Jackets during their strong run to close the season).

“I wasn’t thinking that,” he said. “I just wanted to see Georgia Tech. All I cared about was seeing Georgia Tech.”

He was deluged with calls and texts afterwards.

“I probably made One Shining Moment because of the face shield,” Pastner said. “I think that put it in. The way I look at it is Georgia Tech made it in One Shining Moment because we were one of the 68 teams to make the field.”

Pastner also joined what must be a small group of tournament participants who have appeared in the video both as a player and coach. Pastner was in the 1997 One Shining Moment as a member of the Arizona team that won the national championship. Pastner can be seen at the end of that montage after the Wildcats’ title-game win over Kentucky, running across the screen with his arms aloft. (Michigan coach Juwan Howard also joined the group on Monday, having first been captured in the video playing for the Wolverines 1992-94.)

Kerri Pastner was focused less on the shield than others might have been. Said Pastner, “She was like, Cut your sideburns.” (Pastner reported that he has since trimmed his curly mop.) (His hair is not braided, however.)

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