Arizona Basketball

Pastner trying to join Arizona Wildcats who’ve won a title as head coach tonight in NIT championship


Josh Pastner will attempt to join three other former Arizona Wildcats as head coaches who won a national or world championship when his Georgia Tech team faces TCU tonight in the NIT title game.

Those Wildcats who have captured a title of that magnitude include Brenda Frese as the head coach of Maryland’s women’s basketball team in 2006, Terry Francona as manager of the Boston Red Sox in 2004 and 2007 and Steve Kerr as head coach of the Golden State Warriors in 2015.

Craig McMillan coached the Santa Rosa (Calif.) Junior College team to a state title in 2014, and Mike Bibby guided Phoenix Shadow Mountain to the Class 4A state championship this season.

Reggie Geary has also coached a champion team, when the Yokohoma B-Corsairs won a Japanese professional league title in 2013.

Pastner, in his first season with Georgia Tech after seven seasons with Memphis, calls what his Yellow Jackets (21-15) have achieved this season a “modern miracle.”

Georgia Teach was picked to finish 14th in the ACC because of the coaching transition and lack of depth, but he managed to coach his team to upsets over Duke and North Carolina this season.

“I can remember like yesterday watching our first work outs,” Pastner said in a press conference after his team beat Cal State Bakersfield on Tuesday night in an NIT semifinal game. “If you told me we’re playing (in) the NIT Championship, I would say you’re crazy.

“I remember at spring meetings and I had multiple coaches from the league just said … ‘It’s going to be a hard year for you. You’re never going to experience the amount of losing that you’re going to go through this year.'”

The following is a list of 32 former Arizona Wildcats who are head coaches in high school, college of the pros:

FORMER ARIZONA ATHLETES AS CURRENT HEAD COACHES

High school boy’s basketball (3)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Mike Bibby 1996-98 Phoenix Shadow Mountain 2014
Kelvin Eafon 1995-98 Pueblo 2014
Jason Stewart 1997-99 Encinitas (CA) San Dieguito 2014

Men’s college basketball (4)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Jason Gardner 1999-03 IUPUI 2014
Craig McMillan 1984-88 Santa Rosa (CA) JC 2000
Josh Pastner 1996-00 Georgia Tech 2016
Damon Stoudamire 1992-95 Pacific 2016

Men’s professional basketball (4)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Matt Brase 2003-05 Rio Grande (D-League) 2015
Reggie Geary 1992-96 Nagoya (Japan) 2015
Steve Kerr 1983-88 Golden State (NBA) 2014
Luke Walton 1999-03 L.A. Lakers (NBA) 2016

College baseball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Tod Brown 1990-94 North Dakota State 2007
Bill Kinneberg 1979-80 Utah 2005

Professional baseball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Shelley Duncan 1999-01 Class A Hillsboro (OR) 2015
Terry Francona 1977-80 Cleveland (MLB) 2013

Women’s college basketball (2)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Brenda Frese 1989-93 Maryland 2002
Adia Barnes 1995-99 Arizona 2016

High school football (8)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Marcus Bell 1996-99 Eager Round Valley 2011
Robert Bonillas 1995-98 Desert View 2012
Andy Litten 1999-2000 Marana 2011
Mark Keel 1979-82 Silverdale (WA) Central Kitsap 2000
Scott McKee 1999-02 Sahuaro 2009
Clarence McRae 2003-04 Mountain View 2012
Antonio Pierce 1999-00 Long Beach Poly 2014
Brandon Sanders 1995-98 Pueblo 2014

College softball (3)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Debby Day 1989-91 Cal-Lutheran 2002
Kristie Fox 2004-07 Texas-Arlington 2013
Leticia Pineda-Boutté 1995-98 Washington-St. Louis 2006

High school softball (4)

Player Years/UA Team Start
Amy Baray-Rocha 1999 Salpointe 2015
Jackie Coburn 2002-05 Scottsdale Horizon 2013
Danielle Rodriguez 2006-08 Tucson 2010
Jody Pruitt 1990-93 Peoria Sunrise Mountain 2011


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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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