It is being reported that the University of Memphis Tigers will decided upon and will name assistant Josh Pastner as the new head coach of the team. It would be the first head coaching job for the 31-year old Pastner who was an assistant under John Calipari.
The Tigers have been looking for a new head coach since Calipari picked up the Tigers’ basketball program and moved it to Lexington, Kentucky, to become the new Kentucky Wildcats coach.
Two sources said that athletic director R.C. Johnson has sent an e-mail to members of the Ambassadors Club, telling them the process is nearing an end. The Ambassadors Club is for boosters who have donated $500,000.
Known as one of the rising stars in the business, Pastner would be one of the youngest head coaches in the country and his selection would be a surprise, given his age and the fact he has no head coaching experience.
As a Tiger fan I like this hire a lot. Memphis, being in C-USA was not going to get a marquee coach, so going with the young and rising star is the right move.
Pastner is a master recruiter who worked for six years under Lute Olsen at Arizona before coming to Memphis last year as an assistant to John Calipari and helping Memphis land the #1 recruiting class in the country. His name had been mentioned briefly for the opening at the University of Arizona as well.
The hire could also help Memphis retain some of that top recruiting class as well as some of the current players on the Tigers team. The hire also hurts Calipari’s staff at Kentucky. Calipari knew the value of Pastner and was taking him to Kentucky. Calipari was only promoting former assistants, Derek Kellog and Tony Barbee, to be the coach because they had already left him.
UPDATE: Pastner has reportedly named Carl Henry, the father of #1 national recruit Xavier Henry and current Tiger C.J. Henry, as the Director of Basketball Operations for the Tigers. A move that likely would help Memphis retain Xavier, who originally committed to the Tigers under Calipari.
UPDATE: The Memphis Edge is reporting that Pastner’s contract is for five years worth $4.4 million dollars.
UPDATE: Carl Henry says he won’t be joining the Memphis Tigers program.