Meet Jim Larranaga's wife Liz and their family including NBA coach son

Meet Jim Larranaga’s wife Liz and their family, including their NBA coach son, ahead of the Hurricanes taking on UConn in the Final Four.

The NCAA Tournament Final Four takes place today (Saturday 1 April) with the second semi-final seeing the No.5 Miami Hurricanes taking on 4th seed Connecticut Huskies.

The Hurricanes’ route to the Final Four has been one of the Cinderella runs of March Madness this year. In this year’s tournament they have overcome top regional seed Houston and second-seeded Texas en route to the program’s first-ever Final Four.

Coach reached Final Four 17 years ago

Jim Larrañaga has been at the helm in Miami since 2011. In twelve seasons at Miami, Jim Larranaga has taken the Hurricanes to six NCAA tournaments (four Sweet Sixteens). Last season they reached the Elite Eight for the first time in school history.

The 73-year-old, who comes from Bronx, New York, has been a head coach at the Division I league for over 30 years.

He was head coach of George Mason University from 1997 to 2011, where he coached the Patriots to 13 consecutive winning seasons. His crowning achievement came when he led the the Patriots to the Final Four of the 2006 NCAA Tournament.

On the way to the Final Four, they shoved aside Michigan State, North Carolina and Connecticut – three of the previous six national champions. 17 years on, Larrañaga is at the same stage once again and hoping to go one step further.

“I want our players to enjoy this moment. Because you know what? It will last a lifetime,” he said in one media session this week. “Seventeen years ago, and you guys are still asking me about our run to the Final Four at George Mason. It never stops.”

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Meet Jim Larranaga’s wife Liz and their family

Jim Larranaga’s wife is Liz Larranaga, who is a retired real estate agent and loan officer. The couple got married in 1971 after tying the knot in a private ceremony in Bronx, and have been together ever since.

Bronx is close to their hearts as it was where they first met. They met in the Bronx neighborhood during the early 1960s where Liz attended community dances at The Bronx Irish Center.

They saw each other a few more times before eventually Jim asked Liz out on a date. They dated for a few years before Jim went off to Providence College while Liz stayed in NYC working at the NYC Department of Relocation.

They would keep up their long-distance relationship and phone each other often. Eventually they reconnected and remained close with one another.

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Their sons including Jay Larranaga who is an assistant with the Clippers

Jay Larranaga and his wife Liz have two sons, Jay (born in 1975) and Jon (born in 1980).

Eldest son Jay Larranaga played college basketball for the Bowling Green Falcons before pursuing a pro basketball career overseas. He started in Greece with Peristeri B.C. before playing for teams in France, Italy, and Spain. 

After that, he followed his dad into coaching, starting with Ireland’s national team, then a job in the NBA G League. He’s been an assistant with the Boston Celtics and joined the LA Clippers since in 2021 where he is an assistant coach under Tyronn Lue.

Photo by Steven Ryan/Getty Images

“Just really so happy for my dad and my mom (Liz) because they’ve been on this long journey together,” Larranaga said of his dad’s second trip to the Final Four.

His brother Jon is also a former college basketball player who played abroad before returning to the US. He has worked in sales and is now a partner at The Meltzer Group.

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