Erik Pastrana joins Florida basketball, filling one assistant coach vacancy

By Adam Silverstein
May 24, 2021
Erik Pastrana joins Florida basketball, filling one assistant coach vacancy

Florida Gators basketball announced Monday that Erik Pastrana has joined the program as an assistant coach, filling one of two vacancies created by offseason departures. Pastrana, who spent the last two seasons at Oklahoma State, is a native of Miami, Florida, who previously worked at FAU and FIU while also having extensive experience recruiting high school basketball players.

“I am beyond excited to join one of the elite programs in all of college basketball,” Pastrana said in a statement released by the program. “Having grown up in Florida, I am fully aware of the tradition and passion that comes with being a part of Florida Basketball. I don’t take this opportunity lightly and can’t wait to help continue the success this university and its fans deserve.

“I am so thankful for the past two years at Oklahoma State working alongside one of my best friends in Mike Boynton. It was going to take a special situation for me to leave Stillwater, and I found that in the University of Florida and Coach [Mike] White. Let’s get to work! Go Gators!”

Pastrana was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator for Oklahoma State. During his time there, the Cowboys signed a No. 4 recruiting class in 2020 headlined by Cade Cunningham, who may go No. 1 overall in the 2021 NBA Draft.

He began his career at Kansas State as a graduate assistant under Frank Martin before getting his first on-court stints at Labette Community College and Northwest Florida State College. From there, he went on to join FIU and took over as head coach at Daytona State College for a season before returning to the Sunshine State and going to FAU. He linked up with Boynton as an assistant for a three extremely successful seasons Stephen F. Austin before hit stint at Oklahoma State. At points during his tenure as a coach, he also led two well-known AAU programs in the Florida Rams and KC Run GMC.

Pastrana is known as a relentless worker who is an extremely well-connected, personable coach. His Division I, JUCO and AAU experience should serve the Gators extremely well given the increased importance of the transfer portal and continuously recruiting one’s own players in maintaining and building a college basketball roster.

“We’re really excited about Erik joining the Florida program,” head coach Mike White said in a statement. “He has a proven track record, coaching and recruiting at a high level everywhere he’s been and will be a great fit with our team and our staff.”

Pastrana fills one of the two vacancies created by the departures of assistants Jorday Mincy and Darris Nichols this offseason. Both original hires by White who followed him from Louisiana Tech, they are now head coaches at Jacksonville and Radford, respectively.

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