Coach Spoelstra begins his seventh season as head coach of the HEAT and his 20th as a member of the organization. Since being elevated to his current position on April 28, 2008, Coach Spoelstra has rewarded the faith that HEAT President Pat Riley showed in him by garnering a 314-162 regular season record, a 63-36 postseason mark, six postseason appearances, four division titles, four conference championships and guiding the franchise to a pair of NBA championships.
In just six seasons at the helm, Spoelstra has already established his place in the HEAT record book. He holds the franchise postseason records for victories (63), winning percentage (.636), series won (14) and games coached (99). In regular season play he owns the highest winning percentage (.660) and ranks second in both victories (314) and games coached (476) for the HEAT.
Spoelstra, who ranks third on the NBA’s all-time postseason winning percentage list and tops among active head coaches, joined a very elite fraternity when he led the HEAT to a seven-game series win over the San Antonio Spurs in the 2013 NBA Finals. Upon capturing the 2013 NBA Championship he became one of just 13 head coaches in NBA history to have won multiple championships and only the eighth to win a championship in consecutive seasons.
Before taking over the reigns as the sixth head coach in HEAT history, Spoelstra had served Miami in a number of roles in his first 13 years. He was originally hired as video coordinator and over the years was promoted to assistant coach/video coordinator, assistant coach/advance scout and assistant coach/director of scouting before ascending to head coach. He made a name for himself around the league with his game preparation and superb attention to detail. In his seven seasons as the HEAT’s assistant coach/director of scouting, he had the primary role of developing game plans for upcoming opponents. To that end, he coordinated the video staff and advance scouts while overseeing the development of scouting reports and videos.
Spoelstra has earned the respect of players throughout the league with a strong reputation as a teacher over the years by heading the HEAT’s Individual Player Development Program. As an assistant coach, where he also served for three seasons (2005-07) as the head coach of the HEAT’s summer league team, and as the HEAT’s head man now, he has worked tirelessly with many of Miami’s young players in areas of fundamentals, skill development and shooting. This consistent emphasis of fundamentals contributed to the HEAT setting a franchise-record in 2008-09 for fewest turnovers in a season, committing 96 fewer turnovers than the previous franchise record, and then responding the following season with the second fewest turnovers in a season.
In 1992, he graduated from the University of Portland with a degree in communications. While attending Portland, Spoelstra was the starting point guard for four years and was named the West Coast Conference Freshman of the Year in 1989. Upon graduating he spent two years as a player/coach for Tus Herten, a team in the professional sports league of Germany.
Community outreach has always been a passion for Spoelstra, who is active in the NBA’s FIT initiative. Spoelstra takes pride in encouraging and educating children on the physical, mental and emotional benefits of healthy living, as well as motivating and inspiring their families to live healthier lives through a variety of events and activities. Additionally, he created “Spo’s Shooters”, in 2008 in conjunction with the Miami HEAT Community Education Ticket Program. This program reaches out to South Florida’s less fortunate student-athletes and gives them the opportunity to enjoy HEAT games and meet their favorite HEAT players and role models.
In July 2009, Spoelstra embarked on what would be the first of four trips back to his native Philippines. In each of these trips, he has hosted basketball and coaches clinics, promoted the importance of education, healthy living and wellness, while being able to reach close to 10,000 underprivileged youth through these efforts. In 2011, the nine-day program in Manila was the largest NBA FIT event ever hosted in Southeast Asia under the NBA Cares umbrella. During the summer of 2012, Spoelstra expanded this program to include the country of Singapore.
Raised in Portland, OR, Spoelstra, who was inducted into the Jesuit High School Athletic Hall of Fame in September 2009, is the first Asian/Filipino-American head coach in any of the major North American sports leagues.
Spoelstra is the son of Jon Spoelstra, a long-time NBA executive who has guided the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, Buffalo Braves and New Jersey Nets. His grandfather, Watson, was a Detroit Tigers beat writer for many years.
Rick Winter coached high school basketball for 25 years amassing an overall win-loss record of 456 – 252 (.644 winning %), including 20 years as a varsity head coach. He began his varsity coaching career at Damien High School in Southern California. In 1993, only his third year at the helm, he led Damien to only their second Baseline League title in the school’s 40-year history.
In 1995, Winter relocated to Northern California to become the varsity head coach at Marin Catholic High School. Over his 15-year career at Marin Catholic, Winter retired with the 4th highest win % (146 – 62; .701%) in Marin County Athletic League history and an overall won-loss record of 285 – 165 (.633 winning %) at the varsity level. He is the winningest coach in school history where he won six Marin County Athletic League Championships (four in a row from 2002-2005), three North Coast Section championships and four California State Playoff appearances, including two State Semi-Final appearances. Eight of Coach Winter’s teams finished their season ranked in the top 10 of California’s Division IV.
Over the course of his 20 years as a varsity head coach, Winter also helped develop 18 players at Marin Catholic and Damien that went on to have successful careers at the collegiate level, including nine Division I players.
In the summer of 2010, Coach Winter opened the North Bay Basketball Academy. His goal was to improve the fundamentals and skills, as well as mold players into leaders in the local community, in Marin County, California. Through the first four years over 2,500 players have come through the program.
In the summer of 2011, Winter became a consultant with Jeff Fryer, former LMU standout and professional basketball player, and the Fryer Basketball Academy in Newport Beach, California.
Most recently, Coach Winter partnered and serves as a consultant with the Beach City Basketball Academy in Long Beach, California and First Coast Basketball Academy in Jacksonville, Florida.
Growing up as the son of one of the most successful basketball coaches in Northern California, Coach Winter has been around the game of basketball since birth. He played high school basketball for his father, Rick Winter, at Marin Catholic High School (CA) and was a two-year letter winner at the varsity level. In his senior year, Coach Winter led his team in scoring, served as a team captain and earned the honors of MCAL 2nd Team All-League and Honorable Mention All-Bay Area.
After graduating from Marin Catholic High School, Coach Winter attended Ithaca College (IC) in Ithaca, NY to study Sport Management. He began his career in the sports industry during the second semester of his freshman year at IC. He served on the Athletics Game Day Event Staff working various sporting events throughout the spring semester. In his sophomore year, Coach Winter began working with IC’s Assistant Athletic Director, Michelle Manning. During his two years working under Michelle Manning, he was in charge of scheduling for IC’s Ben Light Gymnasium and aiding with special projects, such as team budgets and organizing bus contracts and proposals for multiple intercollegiate teams. In January 2013, he was named a Game Day Supervisor where he oversaw game operations for 27 intercollegiate athletic teams at campus facilities (including one the country’s top facilities, the Athletics & Events Center). He also managed a student staff of about eight students during game days, served as a liaison for away teams and officials, and worked multiple postseason and NCAA Division III Championship events.
While serving as a student worker at IC, Coach Winter also served as a student manager for Cornell University’s Men’s Basketball team from August 2012 through December 2013. With Cornell he was an active participant during practices and games, worked out players before and after practices as well as during the offseason, and assisted with travel plans for team road trips. He also aided coaches with organizing their recruiting databases and creating itineraries for their recruiting trips.
During the summers between college semesters, Coach Winter returned home and worked for North Bay Basketball Academy (NBBA), ESBA’s partner company. During his time with NBBA, he was in charge and oversaw the summer high school tournaments and incoming freshman league, coached travel teams, ran skill clinics, and also worked out college players preparing them for their upcoming seasons. He was also an active participant in the opening of NBBA in 2010 and created the Academy’s logo.
In addition to helping NBBA, Coach Winter worked as an intern for the Oakland Raiders during the summers of 2012 and 2013. With the Raiders in 2012, he served as a Marketing/Client Services Intern. He worked on various projects throughout the summer, including researching and implementing new Facebook and Twitter marketing campaigns, preparing databases for sponsorship contracts, and assisting at corporate and sponsorship events. In 2013, Coach Winter took on a bigger role and interned as a Sponsorship/Client Services Intern. He oversaw the interview and hiring process for the 2013 Game Day Intern staff, drafted contracts for prospective sponsors, created presentations for proposals to companies, produced marketing plans and implementation guides for sponsorship contracts, and worked as a Game Day Intern at two preseason home games.
In December 2013, Coach Winter graduated a semester early with Magna Cum Laude honors from Ithaca College. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor in Economics. On January 1st, 2014, Coach Winter began working for the Erik Spoelstra Basketball Academy (ESBA) as the Associate Director. He is currently in his second year with ESBA.