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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Pastner off to Memphis

    Josh Pastner
    Josh Pastner

    Josh Pastner will join the University of Memphis men’s basketball staff as an assistant coach and lead recruiter, according to multiple reports which have cited sources with knowledge of the situation.

    Pastner, who’s been with the Arizona program for 12 years, has accepted the job unofficially, as the school can’t officially name him the new coach until Pastner completes a formal interview process, which is required under state regulations.

    Pastner, 30, left after Mike Dunlap made it public last week that he’ll be the associate head coach for the Wildcats next season, though it hasn’t yet been made official.

    Though Pastner told a source he would stay at Arizona if he got the associate head coaching position instead of Dunlap, Pastner only spoke positively about Dunlap.

    “”Mike Dunlap’s a really, really good guy,”” Pastner said Wednesday. “”He’s a very, very good coach. Highly, highly respected in the game. He’s had great success as a head coach, as an assistant. We’re getting a great guy in coach Dunlap and a great coach. We’re very fortunate.””

    Dunlap did not return a phone call from the Daily Wildcat.

    Russ Pennell was officially hired by Olson to join the UA staff Monday, three days after it was announced that assistant coach Miles Simon’s contract would not be renewed for next season.

    “”You’re bringing in really good people,”” Pastner said. “”Coach Dunlap and coach Pennell are really good people, very good coaches and it’s going to make everyone’s job easier. No question.””

    Pastner will fill the void in Memphis’ staff that was made by the departure of Derek Kellogg, who left last month to become the head coach at the University of Massachusetts. Chuck Martin also left last month to become the head coach at Marist last month.’s Andy Katz reported earlier this week that Memphis head coach John Calipari talked to Pastner last week in Los Angeles. According to’s Josh Gershon, Pastner’s office in McKale Center was cleaned out Thursday and he had flown to Memphis to meet with Calipari on the same day.

    Though Pastner said “”I don’t know what I’m doing yet,”” on Wednesday, he said he’ll make his announcement about leaving Friday at the earliest or Tuesday at the latest.

    Calipari has not returned phone calls from the Daily Wildcat.

    Pastner said if he left Tucson, he wouldn’t want to leave forever.

    “”I would love to come back here one day,”” Pastner said. “”But even if it’s not coming back here in basketball terms, coming back here in the community. Tucson is my home.””

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