Erik Jon Spoelstra is an AmericanFilipino professional basketball coach and the current head coach of the National Basketball Associations Miami Heat. Of Filipino descent from his mothers side, he is the first Asian American head coach in the history of the four major North American sports leagues and the first Asian American head coach to win an NBA championship.
In April 2008, Spoelstra became the head coach of the Miami Heat after Pat Rileys decision to step down. Spoelstra was Rileys handpicked successor. In naming Spoelstra as head coach, Riley said This game is now about younger coaches who are technologically skilled, innovative, and bring fresh new ideas. Thats what we feel we are getting with Erik Spoelstra. Hes a man that was born to coach. Spoelstra became the first ever Asian American NBA head coach, and the first Asian American head coach in the history of the four major North American sports leagues. He led the Heat to the NBA Playoffs in his first year as head coach, despite the teams league worst record of 1567 the previous season. The Heat, however, were defeated in seven games by the Atlanta Hawks in the first round. Spoelstras team once again reached the postseason the following season, but again lost in the first round to the Boston Celtics in five games.