Florida basketball hires Al Pinkins as new associate head coach

By Adam Silverstein
May 11, 2018
Florida basketball hires Al Pinkins as new associate head coach

Image Credit: ESPN Images

Just days after Armon Gates decided to leave the Florida Gators for an opportunity at Nebraska, head coach Mike White has found his replacement.

Florida has hired Texas Tech assistant Al Pinkins, a 15-year veteran in the industry, as its new associate head coach.

Pinkins joins the Gators after spending the past two seasons coaching the Red Raiders. He was previously a long-time assistant in the SEC, spending parts of five seasons at three programs.

“We’re really excited about the opportunity to bring Al to Florida,” White said in a statement released by the program. “I’ve known Al for many years, and his high-level coaching experience and familiarity with the SEC make him a great addition to our coaching staff. He does great work in all phases of the job, but has a particularly strong track record of developing big men.”

Unlike Gates, who was experienced coaching up the backcourt, Pinkins has a career of experience developing frontcourt personnel. He began coaching at Middle Tennessee (2003-11) before serving as an assistant and recruiting coordinator at both Ole Miss (2011-14) and Tennessee (2014-15). He then spent one season as an assistant at LSU (2015-16) before taking the Texas Tech job under Chris Beard.

“Recently, I had the chance to revisit some discussions I had with Coach White when his staff first had an opening. It became clear that the University of Florida is a special place and a program my family and I want to be a part of. I’m ready to get to work. Go Gators!” Pinkins said.

White was an assistant with the Rebels from 2004-11 and recruited in the same circles as Pinkins while serving as head coach at Louisiana Tech. Surely former Ole Miss head coach Andy Kennedy played a role in the connection as the former boss to both men.

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