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Pasternack talks about why he stayed put at UCSB despite interest from Cal and South Florida

Joe Pasternack talks about what kept him at UCSB despite strong interest by Cal and others.

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The grass is not always greener.

UCSB head basketball coach Joe Pasternack does not think the Gauchos have reached their ceiling despite a highly successful 2022-'23 season.

UCSB won a Big West co-regular season title, a conference tournament championship, they advanced to their second NCAA Tournament in the past three years and they set a program single-season record with 27 wins.

"Our goals go beyond what we did this year," stated Pasternack. "We are trying to continue to build a program. compete for championships and advance in the NCAA Tournament."

Following the season Pasternack interviewed with Cal about their head coaching opening(since filled by Mark Madsen) and South Florida also reached out to him as well.

But last weekend Pasternack pulled out of the Cal head coaching search and he agreed to a new 5-year contract extension with UCSB that is believed to make him the highest paid coach in the Big West.

"My family loves Santa Barbara," said Pasternack. "I love UCSB."

Pasternack has coached the Gauchos over the past six seasons compiling an impressive 132-53 record with five seasons of 20 or more wins.

Despite losing three starters Miles Norris, Andre Kelly and Ajare Sanni plus key reserve Calvin Wishart, UCSB still has high expectations since Big West Player of the Year Ajay Mitchell returns for his junior season.

"I think he is an NBA point guard and players and recruits want to play with a great player," said Pasternack. "He just loves Santa Barbara, loves this community, loves UCSB and now it's our job to find some great players to surround him with."

Pasternack also said that guard Josh Pierre-Louis will return and will form an experienced backcourt along with Mitchell and sharp-shooter Cole Anderson.

The Gauchos will tap into the transfer portal to fill front court vacancies.

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Mike Klan

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