Miami Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has agreed to an eight-year contract extension that makes him the highest-paid coach in North American coaching history, it was announced Tuesday night.
The deal is worth more than $120 million in guaranteed money over the next eight years and keeps Spoelstra, 53, with the only franchise he’s ever worked for in the NBA.
Since taking over for Pat Riley as the Heat’s head coach in 2008, Spoelstra has established himself as one of the most respected and successful coaches in the sport.
The Miami Heat and Erik Spoelstra agreed on an eight-year extension worth the most guaranteed money in North American sports.
Spoelstra has reached the NBA Finals six times, won two championships, and currently has the Heat tied for fifth in the East despite dealing with injuries to star players, including Jimmy Butler’s extended absence with a foot injury.
The new deal will make him the second-highest paid coach annually, behind San Antoio’s Gregg Popovich at $19 million per season, but the length and guaranteed money is what sets Spoelstra’s contract apart.
The NBA named Spoelstra as one of the 15 greatest coaches in the 75-year history of the league. Among Spoelstra’s individual accomplishments include:
- Third among active coaches in games won (725), behind Popovich and Indiana Pacers coach Rick Carlisle.
- 19th in coaching victories in NBA history.
- 5th all-time with 109 playoff wins.
Spoelstra started with the Heat in 1995 as a video coordinator on Riley’s staff. Over the next 13 years, he rose the ranks to a player development coach who helped shepherd a rookie Dwyane Wade, to Riley’s lead assistant before taking over as head coach when Riley stepped down in 2008.
Two years later, LeBron James and Chris Bosh signed with the Heat and Spoelstra helped guide the Big Three to four straight Finals, winning in 2012 and 2013.
Since James’ departure in 2014, the Heat reached the Finals in 2020, went to Game 7 of the Eastern Conference finals in 2022, and made the Finals again in 2023, becoming the first No. 8 seed in a full season to reach the championship series.
Before the 2023-24 season, 73% of NBA general managers named Spoelstra as the league’s best head coach.