Memphis basketball made yet another step in the right direction Wednesday when the program announced an undisclosed contact extension for men’s basketball coach Josh Pastner.
Since culturing one of the greatest basketball players in history — Derrick Rose — and making it to the Final Four in 2007-08, Memphis has worked to become much more than a one-hit-wonder in college basketball. Coach Pastner has made that happen for the Tigers.
Since taking over as head coach, Pastner has led Memphis to a 106-34 record and three NCAA tournament appearances in four seasons. With a 31-5 record and the Tigers’ first NCAA tournament victory since the coaching change, Memphis made the decision to make a long-term commitment to Pastner.
Though the length and monetary value of the contract is still unknown, it can be inferred that Pastner has been given the reigns to the future of Memphis basketball.
Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen proclaimed this commitment to Pastner in a press conference, saying only that Pastner “will remain our basketball coach for a long time.”
Despite following in the foot steps of arguably the best coach in college basketball after John Calipari left the program in 2009, Pastner has confidently become an elite coach himself. Pastner spent one season as Calipari’s assistant before being named head coach.
Pastner’s long-term link to Memphis will not be a concern for Conference USA opponents, however, as the Tigers will move to the unnamed remnant of the Big East. His recruiting ability and his on-court leadership has solidified Memphis as a perennial Big East title contender and NCAA tournament participant.
John Engel is a college basketball writer for Rant Sports. John works for ESPNLA 710 AM radio in addition to Rant Sports. Follow: @engelsportsguy.