Ga. Tech fires Pastner, citing ‘high expectations’


Basketball coach Josh Pastner has been fired by Georgia Tech after seven seasons, the school announced Friday.

Pastner made just one NCAA tournament appearance in seven seasons at Georgia Tech, finishing with a record of 109-114. He went 51-78 in the ACC, with Tech’s lone NCAA appearance in his time there coming after winning the conference tournament in 2021.

“We have high expectations at Georgia Tech for all of our sports programs, and it is imperative that our storied men’s basketball program achieves a greater level of success,” first-year athletic director J Batt said.

“Our men’s basketball program is important to our department and to our institution. We will not shy away from expecting to consistently compete for ACC championships, NCAA tournament appearances and sustained success.”

Anthony Wilkins, who has been on Georgia Tech’s staff since 2018, will serve as the interim coach while the school conducts a search for Pastner’s successor. Tech’s search will lean toward a coach who can capture Atlanta’s rich recruiting resources, sources told ESPN.

This will be the second significant hire for Batt, who also promoted assistant Brent Key to head coach in football after the 2022 season. Batt, who came from Alabama, has a background in fundraising and plans to be aggressive with NIL (name, image and likeness). He watched Crimson Tide basketball coach Nate Oats arrive in Tuscaloosa and quickly build that program into a national title contender, and he hopes to use a similar blueprint at Tech.

Despite winning six of its final eight games, Pastner’s team went 15-18 this season — his fourth losing season in his seven years at the school. Pastner spent seven years at Memphis from 2009 to 2016, reaching the NCAA tournament in four of his seven seasons there.

His tenure at Georgia Tech also has been marred by NCAA sanctions linked to a former friend who was accused of recruiting violations. Georgia Tech accepted a postseason ban in 2020, when the season shut down anyway because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and some of its sanctions were overturned on appeal.

The Yellow Jackets owe Pastner approximately $2.5 million over the remaining three years of a contract extension he received after the ACC title run.

Tech hasn’t reached the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons since 2004 and 2005. Since losing in the national championship game in 2004, Tech has been to the NCAA tournament just three times since 2005, with Brian Gregory failing to reach the NCAAs during his five-year tenure.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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