Pinkins fills the void left by Armon Gates’ curious departure after less than a month on the job. The position originally opened when Dusty May left to become the head coach at Florida Atlantic.
“We’re really excited about the opportunity to bring Al to Florida,” Gators coach Mike White said in a statement. “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.”
That has been an area of concern for the Gators through White’s tenure, especially after Florida lost center John Egbunu to an ACL injury late in the 2016-17 season and struggled to replace his interior presence.
Pinkins spent the past two seasons working as an assistant at Texas Tech, where he helped the Red Raiders advance to the Elite Eight round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament in March, a run that included a victory over the Gators in the second round.
Texas Tech also defeated 11 ranked opponents, including two top-10 opponents during the 2016-17 season — No. 4 Baylor and No. 7 West Virginia.
“My family and I are thrilled to become a part of Gator Nation,” Pinkins said in a statement. “I’ve been to Gainesville many times as an opposing coach. I look forward to having the Rowdy Reptiles and the rest of the University of Florida’s great fans on my side now. This opportunity for me and my family comes after two wonderful and successful seasons spent in Lubbock at Texas Tech. We will always be grateful to Coach Chris Beard, [Texas Tech athletic director] Kirby Hocutt and our Red Raider family for our time spent there.”
Pinkins’ previous SEC experience includes working as an assistant at LSU, Tennessee and Ole Miss. He coached 2016 National Freshman of the Year and eventual No. 1 overall NBA draft pick Ben Simmons during his lone season with the Tigers.
Pinkins also worked alongside Murphy Holloway and Reginald Buckner at Ole Miss, who finished their college careers as the Rebels’ all-time leading rebounder and shot blocker, respectively.
Al Pinkins Coaching Timeline via FloridaGators.com:
|2018-present||Florida||Associate Head Coach|
|2016-18||Texas Tech||Assistant Coach|
|2014-15||Tennessee||Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator|
|2011-14||Ole Miss||Assistant Coach/Recruiting Coordinator|
|2003-11||Middle Tennessee State||Assistant Coach|