Erie BayHawks Hire Jay Larranaga to Replace John Treloar
Larranaga, 35, had been hired as an assistant coach at Cornell University this spring but the chance to be the head coach in the D-League was apparently too good of an opportunity to pass up.
"I am extremely excited to be the new head coach of the Erie BayHawks. I am grateful that Steve Demetriou, Owen McCormick and the ownership group has selected me to continue the progress made by Coach Treloar," Larranaga said in a press release issued by the team. "Together with (assistant coach) Ben McDonald, Matt Bresee and the rest of the BayHawks staff and I will work tirelessly to ensure the success of our team and franchise."
Larranaga has apparently been on the Cleveland Cavaliers radar, the NBA affiliate of the BayHawks, for awhile as he spent time at the Cleveland Cavaliers' 2008 mini-camp with other top college assistants teaching and evaluating prospective free agents, according to his biography on the Cornell website.
Larranaga's coaching experience is rather limited compared to the typical D-League hire, as his only prior coaching experience is as the Irish National team's player-coach. His playing experience, however, includes 12 years of experience playing in the best leagues in Italy, Spain, Greece and France before retiring as a full-time player in 2009.
"Jay Larranaga fits exactly what we were looking for in our next head coach -- he's passionate about the game, a competitor, a winner and has a great basketball pedigree," BayHawks majority owner Steve Demetriou said in the release. "He understands what it takes to be successful and we're confident he and Ben McDonald will continue to move our team in the right direction."
It also seems he may have inherited solid coaching genes as Larranaga is the son of legendary George Mason head coach Jim Larranaga, whom Jay also played for at Bowling Green State University from 1993 to 1997. Jim has achieved an overall coaching record of 443-327 while coaching at American International College, Bowling Green and most recently George Mason during a career that began in 1977.
On a more trivial note, Larranaga was a teammate of President Obama for the renowned "President's Pick-Up Game" at Fort McNair in Washington D.C. according to the team's release.