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UF Men’s Basketball: Gators Add Erik Pastrana to Coaching Staff

Assistant coach Erik Pastrana arrives at Florida from Oklahoma State, where he spent the past two seasons. (Photo: Courtesy of Oklahoma State Athletics)
Photo By: Oklahoma State Athletics

Courtesy of University Athletic Association

BY DENVER PARLER

Florida men’s basketball head coach Mike White announced the hiring of assistant coach Erik Pastrana on Monday.

“We’re really excited about Erik joining the Florida program,” White said. “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 most recently spent the past two seasons as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Oklahoma State where the Cowboys posted a 39-23 (.629) record, and he helped OSU sign the No. 4 recruiting class in 2020 that included eventual Naismith finalist and potential 2021 No. 1 draft pick Cade Cunningham.

“I am beyond excited to join one of the elite programs in all of college basketball,” Pastrana said. “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.

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“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 White. Let’s get to work! Go Gators!”

Florida has one additional vacancy to fill on its coaching staff after former assistant coaches Jordan Mincy (Jacksonville) and Darris Nichols (Radford) both took head coaching jobs this offseason.

A Miami native, Pastrana is Cuban American and a member of the Latino Association of Basketball Coaches. He has a long history in Florida, with experience coaching high school, AAU, junior college and Division I in the state.

He joined the Oklahoma State staff after spending a season at Florida Atlantic working under former Florida assistant Dusty May, helping the Owls to a 17-16 mark in 2018-19, May’s first season leading the program.

Prior to his time in Boca Raton, Pastrana spent the 2017-18 season as the head coach at Daytona State College, where he led the Falcons to a 19-12 record and had four players named to the Mid-Florida All-Conference Team. He spent the 2016-17 season back in his hometown as an assistant coach at Florida International University.

In his three seasons at SFA, Pastrana and the Lumberjacks won three consecutive Southland Conference Championships, had three straight Southland Players of the Year and earned NCAA Tournament victories over VCU in 2014 and West Virginia in 2016. The 89 wins that staff accrued tied for the most by any coaching staff in its first three campaigns in NCAA history.

Pastrana began his career as a graduate assistant under Frank Martin at Kansas State from 2007-09. In his first season with K-State, the Wildcats finished third in the Big 12 with a 21-12 record, notched their first NCAA Tournament win since 1988, and saw freshman Michael Beasley selected No. 2 in the NBA draft. Kansas State posted another 20-win season during Pastrana’s second year, earning an at-large bid to the NIT.

Following his experience with the Wildcats, Pastrana worked as an assistant coach at Labette Community College in Parsons, Kansas, and Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Florida. At NWFSC, Pastrana helped lead the Raiders to a 30-4 record and an appearance in the NJCAA National Championship. On top of his collegiate experience, Pastrana has also coached two highly respected AAU programs, the Florida Rams and KC Run GMC.

Pastrana holds a master’s degree in counseling and student development from Kansas State and earned his bachelors in history from Florida State in 2007.

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