This is copied from a Facebook post and expresses why this is a huge loss. Of course, ‘as a quirky Jewish guy born in Atlanta, according to some, I don’t count. The post:
While some may be pleased with the dismissal today of Josh Pastner, I’d like to share why I am very sad about this decision. It is not because of the “basketball” decision, although I thought he had earned the right to at least one more year. It is instead because of the decision to let such an extremely fine man go. Bear with me if you will as I explain why I say this.
A friend and fellow GT Alum’s wife was fighting a courageous battle with cancer. My friend Jim was a long term GT basketball season ticket holder and GT basketball had long been a favorite past time of this lovely couple. Knowing my friend and his wife Sandra were in Houston at MD Anderson valiantly fighting her cancer, I reached out to Coach Pastner via e-mail. I had never met, spoken to him, or e-mailed him before. He had no earthly idea who I was other than I told him I was a GT Alum. I am not a current season ticket holder either. I simply explained the situation to Coach Pastner and provided my friend’s e-mail address. Frankly, I was shocked to find a response within a few hours. Coach Pastner was so gracious in his response, but he did not commit to e-mailing my friend. Instead, he pleaded with me saying “I want to call them personally. I need to call them personally. Please send me their cell number.” Think about that - he pleaded with me saying “I NEED to call them personally” - just WOW! Of course I did and of course he called them.
His number was not recognized by Jim when he called so it rolled to voice mail. I’ll let Jim’s e-mail to me explain the impact of Coach’s voice mail:
“What a great surprise it was to hear the voice message from Coach Pastner. His message was uplifting and exciting and humbling....and truthfully it made both Sandra and me cry. He called us by name, wished the best for us, and just wanted to offer us support from him and from Tech in the same manner that he said we had been offering our support to Tech.”
I didn’t intend to let Jim know I had helped arrange the call, but when he was excitedly telling a Pastor at church, whom I had shared about reaching out to Coach, about the call, well the beans got spilled and Jim reached out to me. Jim went on to say further:
“Just one more thing.......no matter what Coach Pastner’s win-loss record is, or will be in the future, I guarantee you he is our all time favorite Tech coach of any sport. Simply because of the power of a one minute and thirty second voice message....”.
I e-mailed Coach with my appreciation and he responded “we are praying very hard for them!”
Later, when Sandra lost her battle, I reached back out via e-mail and updated Coach and you guessed it - he reached right back out to Jim, who shared with me just after Sandra’s service, with tears in his eyes, that Coach Pastner had reached out again.
So now you know why I am so saddened by the fact we won’t have one of the most positive and uplifting people in the world around any more. Tears have come to my eyes writing this while rereading e-mails between me and him and my friend’s e-mail to me describing how much Coach impacted his and his wife’s lives at a time when they needed it most.
I have to agree with Jim and Sandra when they said “no matter what Coach Pastner’s win-loss record is or will be in the future, I guarantee you he is our all time favorite Tech coach of any sport!”
So long Coach - we love you!