One hour in Josh Pastner's very busy life

2010-09-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-24T09:46:33Z One hour in Josh Pastner's very busy lifeBruce Pascoe Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
September 19, 2010 12:00 am  • 

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - Longtime Arizona basketball fans probably know the Josh Pastner image well: Cell phones in his ears, an upbeat expression on his face and an energy level that defies his disdain for caffeine.

None of that has changed now that Pastner is the head basketball coach at the University of Memphis.

"I'm still the same guy," he says.

He's just much more well-known, with even more demands on his time.

Even on a relatively calm early September morning, more than six weeks before full practices were to start, here's what Pastner crammed into one random hour:

9:28 a.m. Walks into conference room to film public-service announcement for Ronald McDonald House fundraiser, wearing navy slacks and a white Memphis polo shirt.

"Should I have worn a white shirt?" Pastner asks. "Is that OK?"

Pastner is asked if the font on the teleprompter is big enough for him to see.

"Thankfully, with my parents, I have 20-20 vision," Pastner said. "They didn't bless me with athletic skills."

9:32 a.m. Flubs the end of the commercial by calling the event the "Big Scoop Ice Cream Festible."

"Fes-tee-val. Fes-tee-VAL." Pastner mutters to himself.

9:38 a.m. With only a few extra takes, nails the long version of the promo.

"I like to stay healthy," Pastner tells the camera. "No soda. No caffeine. But ice cream? That's another story. …"

9:40 a.m. Pastner leaves the studio on time as scheduled.

"I'd help you guys clean up but I've gotta go," Pastner says.

9:42 a.m. Leaves Athletic Department building, checking with sports information director Lamar Chance to see if a radio interview he missed because of a last-minute speaking engagement on Tuesday was rescheduled. "It's on for next Tuesday," Chance says.

9:46 a.m. Heads to local PBS affiliate to tape the first edition of a new televised sports show hosted by Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Geoff Calkins.

9:48 a.m. Addicted to GPS navigation, Pastner finds his car's system can't properly digest the station's suburban location. "It thinks it's in Memphis," Pastner says. "But it's Cordova." He relies instead upon a MapQuest printout Chance provided.

9:53 a.m. A fan returns his call and asks if Pastner can talk. "For you, any time is a good time," Pastner said. "I'm excited for Saturday (Memphis' football opener). Aren't you?"

9:59 a.m. Pastner arrives a minute before his scheduled appearance at the WKNO studios and is escorted into the studio, where Calkins and four station employees greet him. His car clock reads 10:01, having been set two minutes ahead intentionally.

10:12 a.m. Taping begins, with Calkins introducing him as "the guy who in just over a year has become maybe the biggest sports figure in town." Calkins asks Pastner about choosing to live in a gated golf-course community (Pastner said his wife picked the home), about whether Arizona is his dream job ("My dream job is the one I'm in," Pastner says) and later compares Pastner's popularity to that of Elvis.

10:37 a.m. After the taping ends, Pastner scoffs at any comparison to Memphis' musical legend, insisting he's only the guy "in the chair" at the moment, a guy who just happens to be in charge of the proud basketball program. But he also realizes how high that chair stands.

"There's two things you have to love in Memphis," he says after the show. "Elvis and Tiger basketball."

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


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