Long-time Miami Heat assistant coach Erik Spoelstra, 37, will take over to become the youngest head coach in the National basketball League NBA. Pat Riley stepped down as head coach of the Miami Heat on Monday after a league-worst 15-67 season.

Fil American Spoesltra was born on Nov. 1, 1970. He is the son of Jon Spoelstra, a long-time NBA executive who helped run the Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets and New Jersey Nets.
Spoelstra becomes the NBA's youngest coach, 69 days younger that Nets coach Lawrence Frank. Jon Spoelstra spent a career as a marketing executive with the Trail Blazers, Nuggets and Nets, his expertise so valued that in 1983, with the Trail Blazers in need of an injury replacement at point guard, the Pacers traded veteran Don Buse to Portland in exchange for a week of Jon's consulting. Added by the Heat as a video coordinator before Riley's September 1995 arrival, Spoelstra nearly was forced out when Riley attempted to hire one of his former Knicks employees for the position.

A former prep star who once took 32,000 shots during summer break in high school and later was a teammate of Heat center Alonzo Mourning at the Nike All-America Camp.

A career at the University of Portland led to tryouts with the Trail Blazers and Nets, but the pro aspiration for the shooting guard led no higher than a two-year hitch in Germany's second division in the industrial town of Herten. Spoelstra spent two years as a player-coach for Tus Herten in the German professional league following his spell at the University of Portland.

That's when he was contacted by current Memphis General Manager Chris Wallace, who had been handling scouting for the Heat prior to Riley's arrival.In May 1995, Erik Spoelstra was in with the Heat.