Let’s give it up for Toronto native Eric Khoury — the 33-year-old University of Toronto grad just became the youngest head coach in Raptors 905 history!
The team announced his hiring in a press release on Monday.
As the tweet above references, this is a homecoming of sorts for Khoury, who was a Raptors 905 assistant in 2019-20, helping lead the 905 to the G League’s best record. That stint was sandwiched in between two stints with the big club; he joined the Toronto Raptors coaching staff in 2017 as an assistant coach (the “culture reset” year!) and director of analytics, and stuck around into Nick Nurse’s first season (the championship year!). After his 905 stopover, which included the G League “bubble” season, Khoury returned to the Raps bench in 2021.
Khoury initially joined the organization as intern way back in 2012 (after reaching out to the team in an unsolicited email about analytics), and worked his way up on the basketball operations team, becoming a manager of operations in 2015 and moving to the bench in 2017. (The Athletic’s Blake Murphy wrote a great profile of Khoury last year, definitely a recommended read.)
That’s a pretty cool developmental story, right? 22-year old intern works his way up in the org, sticking around through two GMs and two head coaches? And continually finds success, and is now a head coach himself? Great story. And one that aligns well with the organizational ethos of developing and sticking by talent, and making the most of it!
Now, Khoury does have a lot to live up to; he replaces Patrick Mutombo, who — speaking of great development stories — has moved down to Phoenix to join the Suns’ coaching staff. Mutombo led the 905 to a 36-11 record in his two seasons, including back-to-back Conference Finals appearances.
It’s certainly too early to say whether or not Khoury will make a good head coach, but given his rise through the ranks of the one of the best-run organizations in the league, you certainly have to give him the benefit of the doubt!