Name: Jay Triano
Date: September 21, 1958
Place of Birth: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Claim to Fame: head coach of the NBA’s Toronto Raptors
Born in Niagara Falls Ontario, Jay Triano became the first Canadian born and Canadian trained coach in the NBA when he served as an assistant coach to Lenny Wilkens during the 2002-03 season.
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. He 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.
In addition to his duties with Canada Basketball, Triano worked six years as a radio analyst and director of community relations for the Vancouver Grizzlies. He moved to Toronto from Vancouver in 2001 to work as a basketball analyst for TSN.
Triano began his coaching career in 1985 as an assistant at his alma mater Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. He took over the school’s head coaching duties in 1988 and served in that capacity until 1995. In 1992-93, he also worked as an assistant coach on the Canadian men’s national team and in 1993-94 he was the head coach of the Canadian men’s junior national team.
During his collegiate playing career at Simon Fraser, Triano led the Clansmen in scoring all four seasons and set 11 school records, including the career scoring mark of 2,616 points. He was also a member of the football team during his senior season. In 1981, he was drafted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the eighth round of the NBA Draft and by the Calgary Stampeders in the sixth round in the CFL Draft.
Following graduation, Triano played for the Canadian national team for 11 years (1978-88) and was team captain from 1981-88. He represented Canada as a player on three Olympic teams (1980, 1984 and 1988), serving as captain for the last two.
Triano also wore his country’s colours internationally in the World University Games in 1979, 1981 and 1983 where he led the tournament in scoring and Canada to the gold medal, and in 1985 in Kobe, Japan where he carried the Canadian flag at the opening ceremonies.
Triano is a member of the Canadian Basketball, Canadian Olympic, Basketball British Columbia, Basketball Ontario, Simon Fraser Athletic and Niagara Falls Halls of Fame.
In April 2005, Triano was honoured by the Raptors with the Coach Mac Award, given annually to a member of the Canadian basketball community who through exemplary character and effort, has made a major contribution to the sport of basketball while upholding the principles for which Coach Mac stood – honesty, integrity, competitiveness and a love of the game. Triano played for Coach John B. McLendon as a member of Team Canada.
Bio Source: NBA.comEach Fridays we will be be profiling a notable Niagara Falls native. If you would like to suggest a person to be features in our Famous Friday post, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org