Pastner nearing decision whether to leave Wildcats

2008-05-08T00:00:00Z Pastner nearing decision whether to leave WildcatsBy Bruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 08, 2008 12:00 am  • 

Arizona Wildcats assistant coach Josh Pastner will say in the next several days whether he will leave for Memphis, and he is giving no indication that he will stay on Lute Olson's revamped staff.

Pastner would not say Wednesday night if he has made a definite decision to leave a program in which he has spent 12 years as a player, administrator and coach.

"For me to leave Arizona as an assistant, it would have to be at another elite-level school," Pastner said. "I love coach (Lute) Olson, Mr. (AD Jim) Livengood has treated me unbelievably, and the community has been off the charts. This is my home. People say it's Houston, but Tucson is my home. I love everything about this place. Even thinking about leaving makes me sad."

Pastner's father, Hal, said Wednesday that his son would have to make a decision by Friday, just four days after it became clear Mike Dunlap would be the Wildcats' new associate head coach. Veteran assistant coach Russ Pennell also has been added to the staff.

"Josh always thought he'd be at Arizona his entire life," Hal Pastner said. "That was his dream. He loves Lute Olson. (Friday) he's got to make a decision, and it comes down to what's in his best interest."

Jim Hicks, who runs a Houston-area prep sports Web site, said he spoke with Josh earlier Wednesday and "didn't need" to ask him if he was leaving.

"I told him to remain positive and strong, after being leapfrogged over for a post he could have had," Hicks said. "I could tell by the way he responded that it was tearing him up."

The decision could come just when UA gets the family of a heralded 2009 recruit, point guard Abdul Gaddy, on campus this weekend during the Arizona Cactus Classic. Gaddy's summer-circuit coach, Gary Ward, said Wednesday only that "at this particular moment" Gaddy remains committed.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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