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Triano let go as Raptors coach, will remain with team


Posted Jun 1 2011 5:54PM - Updated Jun 2 2011 8:28AM

TORONTO (AP) -- Jay Triano will not return as Toronto Raptors coach next season.

The Raptors announced Wednesday they will not exercise their option on Triano's contract. He will be retained as a consultant and a special assistant to president and general manager Bryan Colangelo.

"We've decided that it was time to change the voice, change the leader at the helm," Colangelo said on a conference call Wednesday evening.

Triano, an Ontario native, guided the Raptors to a record of 87-142 in his three seasons as coach. He served as an assistant to three coaches before being named interim head coach in December 2008 following the dismissal of Sam Mitchell. The interim tag was later removed and Triano signed a three-year deal in May 2009.

Colangelo said he and Triano recently met to talk about the season and the future of the team.

"All of the factors that were discussed were weighed," Colangelo said. "It led to the conclusion that now was the right time to make a coaching change and we've decided to do that."

The search for a new coach will begin immediately and there is no firm deadline in place. Colangelo did not mention names but said he'd be interested in someone with a "defensive-minded perspective."

"I think tenure, experience, success, rate of success, those will all be factored in," Colangelo said.

The Raptors finished 22-60 this season, last in the Atlantic Division.

The announcement came two weeks after Colangelo agreed to a multiyear contract extension. He has spent five years at the helm of Canada's lone NBA team.

Colangelo said P.J. Carlesimo - the only assistant coach who remains under contract for next season - is not a candidate to replace Triano at this time.

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