Georgia Tech is set to fire veteran basketball coach Josh Pastner on Friday, sources told ESPN.
Pastner is expected to meet with Tech officials Friday afternoon to formalize the dismissal, sources told ESPN.
He 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.
Pastner built strong relationships and was well-liked in the university community, but the decision came because Tech has higher expectations for its program, sources told ESPN.
This will be the second significant hire for first-year athletic director J 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.
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.
Tech’s search will lean toward a coach who can capture Atlanta’s rich recruiting resources.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Georgia Tech to fire basketball coach Josh Pastner