The Toronto Raptors announced Thursday the additions Bill Bayno and Jesse Mermuys (MER-miss) to Head Coach Dwane Casey’s staff as assistant coaches. The team also announced the promotion of Jama Mahlalela (JAM-ah MA-la-LAY-La) to assistant coach/player development.
Bayno brings more than 20 years of coaching experience to Toronto at the NBA, college and international levels. He recently completed his second season with Minnesota as an assistant coach for Rick Adelman. Bayno previously spent five seasons with Portland as an assistant coach.
A native of Newburgh, New York, Bayno began his coaching career in 1985 as a graduate assistant for former Raptors assistant coach P.J. Carlesimo at Seton Hall. He also worked for Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown at Kansas and John Calipari at UMass before landing his first head coaching job at UNLV in 1995. Bayno guided the Runnin’ Rebels for five seasons, earning NCAA Tournament bids in 1998 and 2000 and winning four conference championships. He was named co-Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year for the 1999-2000 season after compiling a 23-8 record.
During the offseason Bayno has participated in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program each year since 2005. He has also worked overseas at the Adidas Eurocamp in Treviso, Italy and was head coach of the Talk ‘N Text Phone Pals in the Philippine Basketball Association.
Mermuys was a member of Kevin McHale’s staff in Houston last season, serving as assistant coach/director of player development. He worked with the Denver Nuggets for four years, first as video coordinator in 2008-09 then promoted to advance scout where he was responsible for scouting upcoming opponents throughout the league. He was elevated to assistant coach/advance scout for the 2011-12 campaign.
Mermuys, a native of Tucson, Arizona, had served in a variety of roles at the collegiate level, including director of basketball operations for the University of Arizona, assistant coach at Southern Utah and Pima Community College and video coordinator at New Mexico State.
Mahlalela moves to the bench following two seasons working in the Raptors’ front-office as director of player development. He started with the Raptors on the community development staff in 2006, leading the Raptors Basketball Academy and various clinics throughout Canada. Mahlalela was named director of basketball operations for NBA Asia in 2009 and oversaw the League’s clinics, youth programs and elite-level development from his base in Hong Kong.
Mahlalela was a four-year starter at the University of British Columbia and an assistant coach for four seasons at the University of Toronto.