Georgia Tech names Damon Stoudamire men's basketball coach

Boston Celtics assistant Damon Stoudamire has been named Georgia Tech's new head coach. The two sides agreed to a five-year contract, according to sources.

He brings a blend of college and NBA coaching experience along with a strong playing profile, a mix Tech officials are hopeful can resuscitate the relevance of a program that has faded in recent years.

Stoudamire proved a solid head coach at Pacific, a stint that included a 23-10 season in 2019-20 when he earned the West Coast Conference Coach of the Year award. He went 32-19 his final two years and 71-77 overall at Pacific, leaving the job to join Ime Udoka on the Celtics' staff before last season.

"His ability to connect with anyone is impressive," said Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens. "He's just a real easy person to work with, and everyone enjoys spending time with him. He obviously has an amazing pedigree in basketball. He's got an easy personality for anyone to get along with, and that certainly impacts teams in a good way and coaching staffs in a good way. He'll be great to work with for administrators."

Stoudamire has also worked in college at Rice, Memphis (twice) and Arizona as an assistant coach, giving him more than a decade overall of college coaching experience.

Stoudamire replaces Josh Pastner, who went to just one NCAA tournament in his seven seasons at Georgia Tech. Pastner went 109-114, with the lone NCAA appearance coming after winning the ACC tournament in 2021.

Georgia Tech hasn't reached the NCAA tournament in consecutive seasons since 2004 and 2005, a sign of the lack of sustained success. Stoudamire's challenge will be to reenergize Atlanta and the area's rich recruiting scene to make Georgia Tech a destination again.

Stoudamire emerged as a valued member of the Celtics staff in the wake of Udoka's departure before this season. He has been a key assistant for first-year coach Joe Mazzulla as the Celtics have played to the second-best record in the Eastern Conference (47-21) and the team's staff earned the right to work at the NBA All-Star Game. Mazzulla's performance earned the removal of his interim tag prior to the All-Star break this season.

Selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the 1995 draft, Stoudamire was named Rookie of the Year and played 13 seasons in the NBA. He averaged 13.4 points across stints with the Raptors, Trail Blazers, Grizzlies and Spurs.

Stoudamire is the second high-profile hire for J Batt since the first-year athletic director came on in October. Batt promoted Brent Key to head football coach from his interim spot and sources told ESPN that the school hopes to follow the blueprint for success at Tech that Batt saw Nate Oats execute at Alabama in building the Tide into the NCAA tournament's top overall seed this year.

Batt's background is in fundraising, and there is expected to be a strong NIL push to help fortify and bolster Tech's roster to support Stoudamire.

"I think the separator is the fact that he was a college assistant and a college head coach," Stevens said. "Now he comes and gets another stint in the NBA as an assistant coach. When you add all those experiences together, there's so much to lean on as he takes this job over at Georgia Tech."