Assistant coach from Memphis heading to IUPUI

After the season is over, the head basketball coaches have a list of things to get done before next season start. Recruiting players is one thing, but there are other duties when it comes to being a head coach for a Division I basketball program.

Coach Josh Pastner of the Memphis Tigers is currently focused on the team’s structure for next season but he will have to turn his attention to hiring a new assistant coach to his blemished coaching staff. Hiring a new assistant coach is an old tune to Pastner as he has had to replace assistants for the past three seasons.

After last season’s beat down by Michigan State (70-48) in the second round of the NCAA tournament, assistant coach Damon Stoudamire take an assistant head coaching job at his alma mater University of Arizona where he played collegiate basketball from 1991-95.

Stoudamire was hired in 2011 and former NBA player Luke Walton to replace Willis Wilson and Glynn Cyprien. Before Stoudamire left Memphis, Jimmy Williams resigned as the coach for the big men to pursue other opportunities.

Last summer, Pastner hired Robert Kirby, who was a former assistant at LSU under head coach Johnny Jones and at Georgetown under head coach John Thompson III.

Athletes in college basketball are considered to be one-and-done, but coaches are following the same path.

Prime example would be assistant coach Jason Gardner, who has decided to take the heading coaching job at IUPUI. Gardner was brought in alongside Kirby prior to the beginning of the 2013-14 basketball season.

Before Gardner came to Memphis, he was an assistant at Loyola-Chicago from 2011-13. He will replace Todd Howard, who went 26-70 in three seasons as the head coach.

Before Gardner’s career as a coach begun, he was a star basketball player at North Central High School in Indianapolis, IN in the late 1990s and at Arizona from 1999-2003.

During a press conference, Pastner talked about the possibility of losing an assistant coach.

“I got great assistant coaches. I love my guys. I never want to hold anybody back,” Pastner said.

“They obviously want to be head coaches so, I would always fight for them to be a head coach. So obviously if they have an opportunity to be a head coach somewhere, then obviously they will take the opportunity.”

This will be the fourth straight season that Pastner will have to replace an assistant.