Erik Spoelstra, Fil-Am, New Miami Heat Coach

37-year-old Erik Spoelstra was appointed head coach of the National Basketball Association (NBA) team Miami Heat following the resignation of Pat Riley on Tuesday.

“I believe Erik Spoelstra is one of the most talented young coaches in a long time,” Riley told a news conference. Born to a Filipino mother, the former Fe Celino, Spoelstra is now NBA’s youngest coach.

“I am thrilled to become the first Fil-Am named to the high-level position in the NBA and being "very proud of my heritage, this is a great honor."

In a previous interview, Spoelstra said he was invited by Jim Kelly to play in the PBA but the opportunity to work for Miami came up.

"I really would have cherished the opportunity to play in the Philippines out of college but I also had some wonderful experiences in Germany and when I started my career with the Heat,"

“I don't have any immediate plans to visit the Philippines yet but only because I will be so busy planning for this first year. Obviously, this first year is extremely important and I have a lot of preparation to do. I'd love to spend time in the Philippines sometime in the future."

Spoelstra's 67-year-old mother, fondly called "Baling" by relatives, has a sister and two brothers living in the Philippines. Her oldest sister Fe has passed away. A sister Esperanza resides in Naga. Brother Tony lived over 10 years in the US and is now based in Los BaƱos. Another brother Cecilio is a surgeon at the Philippine Heart Center. Spoelstra's first cousin Dr. Andy Dimayuga of San Pablo said the family is proud that a Fil-Am has finally broken the coaching barrier in the NBA.

Filipinos Around the World are Proud of You!!!! YEAH BABY!!!

Erik Spoelstra, Fil-Am, New Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra, Fil-Am, New Miami Heat Coach Reviewed by Vernon Joseph Go on Tuesday, May 13, 2008 Rating: 5


  1. yuh, he was appointed head coach of the miami heat. but i stll miss pat dearly. the genius in pat riley is what makes him unforgettable. wahah!

  2. have read the news in yahoo. and im damn so proud a pinoy made it to that post. we're slowly emerging in the global arena.