The Arizona Wildcats said goodbye to star freshman Lauri Markkanen on Thursday, and on Friday, it appears they have bid adieu to another member of the program.
Only this time, it’s not a player, as reports are assistant coach Joe Pasternack is going to take over as head coach at UC Santa Barbara.
According to UCSB’s web site, a press conference is scheduled for Tuesday to introduce their new head coach, though they did not name Pasternack as the guy.
Pasternack has been part of Sean Miller’s coaching staff since 2011, first as an assistant coach and then, in 2013, he was promoted to the role of associate head coach. He was a big part of Arizona’s recruiting efforts, though he has experience as a head coach having been with New Orleans from 2007 to 2011.
This is not the first defection from Miller’s staff over his eight years with UA. In 2015, Damon Stoudamire departed to be an assistant at Memphis, and in 2013, James Whitford left to become the head coach at Ball State, where this past season he led the program to a 21-13 record and a berth in the CIT. Prior to Stoudamire and Whitford leaving, in 2011, Miller’s brother Archie left to take over as the head coach of Dayton, where he excelled until being named the head coach of Indiana this past month.
Pasternack’s departure was not entirely unexpected, as his name had come up before in coaching rumors. As for who Miller might tab to replace him, one interesting rumor began to make the rounds Friday afternoon:
Romar, of course, was recently let go by Washington, for whom he was the head coach from 2002 to 2017.