Jay Triano’s term as head coach of the Canadian men’s senior national basketball team has come to a close. The two-time Olympian told Sportsnet Sunday night that he has withdrawn his name from consideration for the role which was his as of the summer of 2018.
Over the past four summers Canada had a 27-5 record under Triano, including an 8-2 record at the 2015 FIBA Americas, where Canada lost on a controversial foul with no time left in a game against Venezuela that would have qualified them for the 2016 Olympics. Canada led by seven with just over three minutes to play.
Canada went 4-0 under Triano last summer.
Canada’s next chance to compete on the world stage will begin on Aug. 31 in China after the men’s team went 10-2 in qualifying for the FIBA World Cup.
The question now is who will coach what will almost certainly be the most talented roster Canada has ever had with more than a dozen players with NBA resumés to draw on as well as some top performers in Europe.
The decision will fall to Rowan Barrett, recently elevated to men’s senior national team general manager and father of Duke University freshman RJ Barrett, one of the program’s rising young stars.
According to sources, four coaches were going to be granted interviews by phone, including Triano.
The remaining three candidates are Roy Rana, who won gold for Canada at the U-19 world championships and coached the majority of games for Canada during the World Cup qualifying process; Gord Herbert, who played for Canada at the 1984 Olympics and who has had a successful career coaching in Europe; and Ettore Messina, one of the most highly regarded coaches in Europe, the former Italian national team head coach and currently as assistant with the San Antonio Spurs.
According to sources, the final interview will be early this week with a decision expected shortly afterwards.
Triano cited ‘personal reasons’ as why he was removing himself from consideration but did not want to comment further.
Triano is the arguably the most accomplished coach Canada has ever produced. In his first stint leading the national team, he guided Canada to a 5-2 record at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He had a falling out with Canada Basketball in 2005 and resigned, a messy departure which may have ended his good friend Steve Nash’s playing career with the program.
When Nash was brought board as men’s team general manager in 2012 it was on the condition that Triano return as head coach. Triano is the only Canadian to be an NBA head coach — he led the Raptors in 2008-09 and 2009-10 — and has been a lead assistant for four NBA clubs including his current role with the Charlotte Hornets.