Raptors sign Triano to 3-year deal

TORONTO -- Jay Triano signed a three-year contract Monday to coach the Toronto Raptors, dropping the interim tag after taking over the team during the season.

Triano was promoted Dec. 3 after Sam Mitchell's dismissal.

The Raptors went 25-40 under Triano but finished strong, going 9-4 in their final 13 games.

"We have gone through an extensive evaluation process and have done a lot of soul-searching internally and came to the conclusion that Jay Triano was the right leader for this team as we move forward," general manager Bryan Colangelo said.

A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, the 50-year-old Triano became the first Canadian-born and Canadian-trained coach in the NBA when he was hired in 2002 as an assistant to Lenny Wilkens. He spent six years as the Canadian national team's coach, leading the squad to a seventh-place finish at the 2000 Olympics.

"Today it's a great honor for me to be really rewarded by an organization that I've been devoted to for the past seven years," Triano said. "I've spent an awful lot of time late at night here at the arena preparing for games. I'm just anxious and excited. Things won't change."