Jay Triano

Howard James "Jay" Triano[1] (born September 21, 1958) is a Canadian basketball coach and former professional player, who is currently the lead assistant coach of the Charlotte Hornets of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He previously served as the head coach of the NBA's Toronto Raptors and the interim head coach of the Phoenix Suns. A former Canadian national team player who competed in two Olympics, he has also had two stints as head coach of the national team.

Jay Triano
Jay Triano.jpg
Jay Triano with the Raptors' coaching staff in November 2009.
Charlotte Hornets
PositionAssistant coach
Personal information
Born (1958-09-21) September 21, 1958 (age 62)
Tillsonburg, Ontario
Listed height6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Listed weight194 lb (88 kg)
Career information
High schoolA. N. Myer
(Niagara Falls, Ontario)
CollegeSimon Fraser (1977–1981)
NBA draft1981 / Round: 8 / Pick: 179th overall
Selected by the Los Angeles Lakers
Playing career1981–1988
Coaching career1988–present
Career history
As coach:
1988–1995Simon Fraser
20022008Toronto Raptors (assistant)
20082011Toronto Raptors
20122016Portland Trail Blazers (assistant)
20162017Phoenix Suns (associate)
2017–2018Phoenix Suns (interim)
2018–presentCharlotte Hornets (assistant)

Early life and familyEdit

Triano was born in Tillsonburg, Ontario and raised in Niagara Falls, Ontario, where he attended A. N. Myer Secondary School.[2] He is of Italian descent through his great-grandfather, who landed on Ellis Island, then made his way to Welland, Ontario.[3] His younger brother Jeff was a draft pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 1982 NHL Entry Draft, after playing OHL hockey for the Toronto Marlboros. Brady Heslip, his nephew and son of his sister Jody, played basketball at Baylor University and currently plays for the Canadian national team.[4]

Playing careerEdit

As a student at Simon Fraser University, the 6 ft 4 in, 194 lb[1] Triano broke or equalled eleven school men's basketball records, including having the most career points with 2,616. At Simon Fraser, he befriended Canadian athlete and activist Terry Fox.[5] He was drafted in the eighth round of the 1981 NBA Draft by the Los Angeles Lakers, but was cut during training camp and never played in the NBA.[6] The same year, he was also drafted by the Calgary Stampeders in the sixth round of the 1981 CFL Draft.

Triano was a national team player from 1977 to 1988, captained the team from 1981 to 1988, and played in the 1984 and 1988 Olympics. He led the Canadian team that won Gold at the 1983 World University Games in Edmonton, Alberta, defeating the United States in the semi-finals, which was led by Karl Malone and Charles Barkley,[6] and Yugoslavia in the final, led by Dražen Petrović. He played three seasons of professional basketball, two in Mexico and one (1985–86 season for Fenerbahçe Istanbul) in Turkey.

Coaching careerEdit

After retiring as a player, he became head coach at his alma mater, Simon Fraser University, in 1988. In 1995, when the Vancouver Grizzlies debuted, he became team Director of Community Relations and worked as the colour commentator for their radio broadcasts. In 1998, Triano became the head coach of the Canadian men's national basketball team. He led them to a 5–2 record and a seventh-place finish in the 2000 Sydney Olympics, losing to France by five points in the quarter-finals. Two years later, he became an assistant coach for the Toronto Raptors, becoming the second Canadian-born coach in the NBA. He served under Lenny Wilkens, Kevin O'Neill, and Sam Mitchell.

In 2004, Triano was fired as national team head coach,[7] and was replaced by Leo Rautins the following year.

In 2008, Triano was named an assistant coach for United States national team. On February 13, 2008, Triano served as head coach of the Toronto Raptors in their 109–91 victory over the New Jersey Nets, in place of head coach Sam Mitchell, who was absent from the team as a result of the passing of his father-in-law, making history as the first Canadian to serve as head coach for a regular-season NBA game.

On December 3, 2008, Triano was named interim head coach of the Raptors after Mitchell was relieved of his coaching duties. He became the first Canadian-born head coach in NBA history.[8] Triano guided the Raptors to a 25–40 mark.[9]

On May 12, 2009, Triano was given a three-year deal to remain head coach of the Raptors.

In Triano's first full season as the Raptors head coach in the 2009–10 season, Toronto missed the playoffs by one game to the Chicago Bulls, going 2–5 in their last 7 games. The team finished 40–42.

In the 2010–11 season, without Chris Bosh on the roster, Triano led the Raptors to a dismal 22–60 record.

On June 1, 2011, the Raptors announced they would not be picking up the option on Triano's contract, but gave him another position within the organization, the Vice-President of Pro Scouting.

On August 17, 2012, Triano was named as an assistant coach for the Portland Trail Blazers.[10] The following week, Triano was also named head coach of Canada's national team for the second time in his career.[11]

On May 18, 2016, it was announced that Triano would take on the associate head coach role (which is the team's leading assistant coach) for the Phoenix Suns.[12] He was reunited with head coach Earl Watson, who played for the Trail Blazers during his final season in the NBA, and was considered a major influence on transitioning to being a full-time coach.[13] The subsequent hiring of Turkish-born Mehmet Okur to the Suns' coaching staff as a player development coach on September 13 in the same year, marked the first time in franchise history that multiple non-American coaches served on the coaching staff in the same season.[14]

On October 22, 2017, after a 0–3 start to the season, including one of the worst losses in Suns history and the worst loss to open up a regular season in league history, Triano was promoted to interim head coach of the Suns after the firing of Earl Watson.[15] In his first game as head coach since 2011, Triano managed to lead the team, which previously had 40+ point losses earlier in the year, to lead as high as 22 points at one point before winning 117–115 on October 23, against the Sacramento Kings for their first win of the season. On December 26, 2017, Triano became the first foreign born head coach in NBA history to win 100 games in the league with a 99–97 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. However, the Suns would finish the season with a 21–58 record under his tenure, and he would not return as head coach after that season.[16] On May 24, 2018, the Charlotte Hornets announced that Triano would join their staff as lead assistant coach.[17]

Head coaching recordEdit

Regular season G Games coached W Games won L Games lost W–L % Win–loss %
Playoffs PG Playoff games PW Playoff wins PL Playoff losses PW–L % Playoff win–loss %
Team Year G W L W–L% Finish PG PW PL PW–L% Result
Toronto 2008–09 65 25 40 .385 4th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
Toronto 2009–10 82 40 42 .488 2nd in Atlantic Missed playoffs
Toronto 2010–11 82 22 60 .268 5th in Atlantic Missed playoffs
Phoenix 2017–18 79 21 58 .266 5th in Pacific Missed playoffs
Career 308 108 200 .351

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Jay Triano Archived 2015-07-24 at the Wayback Machine Sports Reference. Accessed on July 24, 2015.
  2. ^ "Triano credits his past coaches for making him what he is today". NiagaraThisWeek.com. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-03-22. Retrieved 2010-02-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Brady Heslip Bio". BaylorBears.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2016. Retrieved January 13, 2016.
  5. ^ Jay Triano and Terry Fox were friends at Simon Fraser University Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine Niagara Falls Review. Accessed on January 13, 2016.
  6. ^ a b Jay Triano: Don't call it a comeback BasketballBuzz. Accessed on January 13, 2016.
  7. ^ Canada Gives U.S. Unlikely Assist The New York Times. Accessed on March 18, 2014.
  8. ^ Mitchell fired Archived 2008-12-15 at the Wayback Machine, December 4, 2008
  9. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  10. ^ "Head Coach Terry Stotts Adds Three Coaches To His Staff". August 17, 2012. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved August 17, 2012.
  11. ^ [2]
  12. ^ Adrian Wojnarowski [@wojespn] (19 May 2016). "Portland assistant Jay Triano will join Earl Watson's Suns' staff as associate head coach, league source tells @TheVertical" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ Getting to know Phoenix Suns assistant coach Jay Triano
  14. ^ Suns Add Mehmet Okur, Jason Hervey to Basketball Staff
  15. ^ "Suns Relieve Earl Watson of Head Coaching Duties". NBA.com. October 22, 2017. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
  16. ^ "Suns Agree to Terms with Igor Kokoškov To Become New Head Coach". NBA.com. 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  17. ^ Bonnell, Rick (May 24, 2018). "Charlotte Hornets coaching news: Jay Triano, Steve Clifford and Stephen Silas". charlotteobserver. Retrieved June 7, 2018.

External linksEdit