At first glance, Josh Pastner might not look like much.
He’s just 31 years old but recently landed the head coaching job at Memphis after one of his mentors, John Calipari, jumped ship to Kentucky. His coaching experience isn’t something that is going to knock you out of your computer chair, but the longevity of it doesn’t compares to what he’s been able to do in his short period as an assistant coach.
Pastner hit the coaching world a-running at the University of Arizona after walking on as a player for Lute Olson. A member of the 1997 National Championship game, Pastner, was known for his ties to Houston. Pastner quickly brought players from the city to play for Arizona and was largely responsible for Nic Wise, Fendi Onobun and Garland Judkins all signing on with the Wildcats.
After serving under Olson, Pastner moved to an assistant job at Memphis this past season before taking over as head coach for 2009-2010.
Why does this move help Memphis? Pastner is a known workaholic who enjoys recruiting and has the brain for coaching. Pastner’s father was a local AAU coach in Houston and taught Josh everything he needed to know about the game. Pastner is also a fairly sharp kid, finishing his degree in just two-and-a-half years.
If Calipari brought credibility to Memphis, Pastner brings hope and longevity.
Anyone that has spent a few minutes around the guy knows he is legit. He isn’t the type to say one thing and do another. He will help continue the recent success of Memphis, even with Calipari far from the FedExForum. Pastner has seen the Final Four as both a player and coach, and that means a lot when you walk into the house of a top recruit to tell them you’re the guy who will take them to the promised land.
He might not be a big name, but he’s a guy who can do big things. The Tigers are facing a talent drain as top recruits Xavier Henry and Nolan Dennis and Memphis-lean John Wall are all re-considering their options, while DeMarcus Cousins has already committed to Calipari’s newest team. But Memphis should remain on the list for any blue-chip talent. Josh Pastner could quickly become the next big thing in college coaching.
via AOL FanHouse