Toronto Raptors name Jay Triano head coach

Toronto Raptors President and General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced Monday that Jay Triano has been promoted to head coach and signed to a three-year contract. Triano took over the head coaching duties on an interim basis December 3, 2008 following the dismissal of Sam Mitchell. Per team policy, financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Despite some difficult circumstances this past season, Jay Triano never stopped coaching, teaching and leading this team which resulted in a very strong finish,” said Colangelo. “After undertaking a thorough evaluation process, it is clear that Jay is the right coach to guide this team in the future.”

Triano is the seventh head coach in franchise history. He guided the club to a 9-4 mark in its final 13 outings this past season, including wins over Eastern Conference playoff participants Chicago, Orlando and Philadelphia, and a 12-15 record after the all-star break. He finished 25-40 overall.

Triano served seven seasons (2002-2008) as an assistant on the Raptors’ coaching staff. He became the first Canadian born and Canadian trained coach in the NBA when he was hired in 2002 as an assistant coach to Lenny Wilkens.

A native of Niagara Falls, Triano was the head coach of the Canadian men’s national team from 1998-2004 posting a 52-42 (.553) record. During his stint at the helm of Canada Basketball Triano had the opportunity to coach “Captain Canada” Steve Nash, who was voted the National Basketball Association’s Most Valuable Player in 2005 and 2006. Triano led Canada to a semifinal berth in the 2003 FIBA Americas Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Puerto Rico and to a 5-2 record, second best to the United States, in the 2000 Olympics.

Triano has also served as an assistant coach of the USAB Select Team (2007 and 2008), the head coach of the NIKE Skills Academy in Vancouver (2006) and Toronto (2007), and for the past six years as a coach at the prestigious EURO CAMP in Treviso, Italy.

Triano served as interim head coach for one game during the 2007-08 season when Mitchell was away for a personal family matter. The Raptors defeated the New Jersey Nets, 109-91, on February 13, 2008 at Air Canada Centre.

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