Georgia Tech hires Damon Stoudamire as new head basketball coach

Georgia Tech moved quickly to find its new men’s basketball head coach

The Yellow Jackets announced the hire of Damon Stoudamire as their new head coach on Monday.

Stoudamire, a Boston Celtics assistant for the past two seasons, had a 15-year career as an NBA point guard before jumping into the coaching world. He served as the director of player development at Rice and then worked as an assistant coach in the NBA for the Memphis Grizzlies before moving back to the college level. He had two stops at Memphis and a three-year stint at Arizona, his alma mater, before landing the head-coaching job at Pacific.

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Stoudamire coached Pacific for five seasons, compiling a 71-77 record that included a 23-10 mark in 2020 that earned him the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year award. After the 2021 season, Stoudamire left Pacific to join the Celtics’ staff. Now he is headed back to the college ranks as a head coach in a major conference.

“We are thrilled that Damon Stoudamire will be the head coach of our storied men’s basketball program,” Georgia Tech athletic director J Batt said. “Coach Stoudamire’s success and credibility as a player and coach at both the collegiate and professional levels make him a great fit to lead our program. He will serve as an outstanding mentor on and off the court and will attract talented student-athletes to The Flats. We could not be happier to welcome Coach Stoudamire to the Georgia Tech family.”

Boston, MA - December 29: Boston Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire filled in as head coach for the second straight game, as interim head coach Joe Mazzulla missed the contest with an irritated eye. The Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Clippers, 116-110. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
Boston Celtics assistant coach Damon Stoudamire was announced as the new head coach at Georgia Tech. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

Georgia Tech has reached NCAA tournament once since 2010

Stoudamire will replace Josh Pastner, who was fired on Friday, a day after the Yellow Jackets fell to Pitt in the second round of the ACC tournament. Pastner coached the Yellow Jackets for seven seasons, amassing a 109-113 overall record with a 51-77 mark in ACC play.

Georgia Tech reached the NCAA tournament once during Pastner’s tenure. That tournament berth came after GT won the ACC tournament in 2021.

This season, the Yellow Jackets finished 15-18 and 6-14 in conference games.

Georgia Tech’s trip to the NCAA tournament in 2021 was its first since 2010. The Yellow Jackets were mainstays in the NCAA tournament throughout the 1980s and early 1990s under Bobby Cremins, but have failed to sustain any level of success in the years since.

Georgia Tech is considered one of the toughest jobs in the ACC. The school has high academic standards but the Atlanta area is flush with talent. The school — namely Batt, the school's recently hired athletic director — is hoping Stoudamire can tap into the local resources and build up the Yellow Jackets’ hoops program.

“I am humbled and honored to be the head coach at Georgia Tech,” Stoudamire said. “It is an incredible honor to be entrusted with leading such a tradition-rich program. I am excited to get to work with the goal of consistently having our team compete at the championship level that we all know we can and should compete at. I’m proud to represent Georgia Tech and can’t wait to walk out of the tunnel and onto the floor at the Thrillerdome in front of our fans."