Jerry Tonello

Place of Birth: Toronto, Ont.
Resides: Toronto, Ont.
Birthday: 29-12-1956
Height: 6'2"
Coaching Since: 1982

Biography

Jerry grew up as an all-around athlete in football, basketball, and a number of other sports. He began playing wheelchair basketball as a result of friendship with athletes with a disability. On the court, he was a dominant big man and competed for more than 20 years.

He is recognized in Canada as the first able-bodied player to compete at the national championship in 1992, although able-bodied players had been competing since 1989 at the Canadian Wheelchair Basketball League (CWBL) Finals.

Jerry began coaching in 1982. A respected coach, he paid particular attention to the technical aspect of the game through video analysis and feedback. He made a tremendous contribution to the national wheelchair basketball program through his strong work ethic.

His coaching career with the national team began in 1991, when he joined the program as an assistant coach. Team Canada went on to capture back-to-back gold medals at the Paralympic Games in 2000 and 2004, as well as a world championship title in 2006. In 2008, Jerry took over the role of associate head coach and helped guide the team to another podium performance at the Paralympics, this time earning a silver medal in Beijing in 2008.

Jerry became the head coach in 2009. He led Team Canada to its third gold medal in the last four Paralympic Games after striking gold in London in 2012.

Jerry was a NCCP Level 3 certified coach in wheelchair basketball and a Chartered Professional Coach registered with Coaches of Canada. He graduated from the School of Kinesiology and Heath Science at York University and earned a Bachelor of Education at the University of Toronto.

He passed away in 2016 at the age of 59.

Awards / Highlights

  • Received the Tim Frick Paralympic Coach Excellence Award at the 2013 Canadian Paralympic Committee Sport Awards
  • Received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (2012)
  • Received Canadian Wheelchair Sport Association (CWSA) Stephan Dubuc Memorial Award for Coach of the Year (2012)
  • Received Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award (2012)
  • Received Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal (2002)
  • Recipient of the Canada 125 Medal (1992)

Major International Competition

Tournament Gold Silver Bronze Other
Head Coach
Paralympic Games: 1 1 (’12)
World Championships: 1 7th (’10)

Competitive Experience

Level Team Location Year
International Head Coach, Canada (SMNT) Canada 2009-2015
International Associate Head Coach, Canada (SMNT) Canada 2008
International Assistant Coach, Canada (SMNT) Canada 1991-2007

Career Notes

2013: 6th place at Americas Cup in Bogota, Colombia (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at Kitakyushu Champions Cup in Kitakyushu, Japan (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 5th place at Easter Tournament in Blankenberge, Belgium (Head Coach, Team Canada)…

2012: 1st place at Paralympic Games in London, England (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Continental Clash tournament in Worcester, England (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at Papendal Tournament in Arnhem, Netherlands (Head Coach, Team Canada)… Received Petro-Canada Coaching Excellence Award… Received CWSA Stephan Dubuc Memorial Award for Coach of the Year… Received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

2011: 3rd place at Parapan American Games in Guadalajara, Mexico (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 3rd place at International Tournament of Champions in Charlotte, USA (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at BT Paralympic Cup in Manchester, UK (Head Coach, Team Canada)…

2010: 7th place at World Championships in Birmingham, UK (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at BT Paralympic Cup in Manchester, UK (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 3rd place at North American Cup in Birmingham, USA (Head Coach, Team Canada)…

2009: 2nd place at Americas Cup Qualifier in Richmond, BC (Head Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at Rollers World Challenge in Australia (Head Coach, Team Canada)…

2008: 2nd place at Paralympic Games in Beijing, China (Associate Head Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at North American Cup in Birmingham, USA (Associate Head Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Pre-Paralympic Test Series in Osnabrück, Germany (Associate Head Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Good Luck Beijing Invitational Tournament in Beijing, China (Associate Head Coach, Team Canada)…

2007: 2nd place at Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at VISA Paralympic Cup in Manchester, UK (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…

2006: 1st place at World Championships in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Paralympic Cup in Manchester, UK (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Osaka Cup in Osaka, Japan (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…

2005: 1st place at Americas Qualification Tournament in Colorado, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at CWBL Open Finals with Toronto Spitfires & named MVP in Winnipeg, MB (domestic)…

2004: 1st place at Paralympic Games in Athens, Greece (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at North American Cup in Birmingham, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at Roosevelt World Basketball Challenge in Warm Springs, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…

2003: 1st place at Parapan American Games in Mar del Plata, Argentina (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Roosevelt World Basketball Challenge in Warm Springs, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…

2002: 3rd place at World Championships in Kitakyushu, Japan (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Americas Qualification Tournament in Vitória, Brazil (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Roosevelt World Basketball Challenge in Warm Springs, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Montreal, QC (domestic)…

2001: 2nd place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Toronto, ON (domestic)…

2000: 1st place at Paralympic Games in Sydney, Australia (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Pre-Paralympic Test Series in Amsterdam, Netherlands (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at Roosevelt World Basketball Challenge in Warm Springs, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Edmonton, AB (domestic)…

1999: 2nd place at Parapan American Games in Mexico City, Mexico (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Calgary, AB (domestic).

1998: 3rd place at World Championships in Sydney, Australia (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 2nd place at Americas Qualification Tournament in Winnipeg, MB (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Winnipeg, MB (domestic)…

1997: 2nd place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Vancouver, BC (domestic)…

1996: 5th place at Paralympic Games in Atlanta, USA (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)…1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Montreal, QC (domestic)…

1995: 1st place at Qualification Tournament in Buenos Aires, Argentina (Assistant Coach, Team Canada)… 3rd place at Canada Games with Team Ontario in Grande Prairie, AB (Assistant Coach, domestic)… 1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Saskatoon, SK (domestic)…

1994: 1st place at National Championships with Team Ontario in Saint John, NB (domestic)…

1991: 1st place at International Games in Stoke Mandeville, England (Head Coach, Team Canada)…

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