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TriCats Coaches

Head Coach: Jimmy Riccitello

For more than twenty years, Jimmy Riccitello was one of the world’s top professional triathletes. He was one of the most fearsome cyclists the sport of triathlon has ever had, and has claimed victories in all corners of the earth. Jimmy has been successful in all types of triathlon (non-drafting, drafting, and off-road triathlons) and all distances (sprint, Olympic, ½ Ironman, and Ironman). 


His sincere love of the sport allowed him to remain competitive – training and racing at the elite level for two decades. From day one, he has been self-coached. He became a true student of triathlon, learning everything he could about all aspects of the sport - training, traveling, racing, diet. Jimmy spent years in the field learning the practical side of racing and training from some of the best in the business – athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Greg Welch, Mike Pigg, Paul Huddle, Scott Molina, and Scott Tinley. He learned from experience as evidenced by his consistent top performances and his continued improvement over the years. 


Through his relationships with triathlon and cycling’s top athletes (past and present) and coaches, Coach Jimmy is able to meld the tried and true old-school philosophy of “hard work pays off,” with cutting edge technology.  Jimmy is well-versed in working with power, has spent many hours with the likes of Steve Hed, in the San Diego Low Speed Wind Tunnel, and is current on the latest and greatest in running techniques and technologies via his on-going relationship with innovators such as Danny Abshire of Newton Shoes. 


Finally, as a husband and father of two children, Coach Jimmy understands the need to balance training with conflicting demands on your time.  His approach integrates wisdom, humility, candor, and humor (that’s right) that comes from almost 30 years of experiences as a triathlete, close to 40 years as a competitive athlete, and over 10 years as a coach.  Jimmy enjoys sharing his experience through coaching others and helping athletes of all abilities reach their potential. More information about Jimmy can be found at

Assistant Coach: Doug Friman

As an athlete, Doug grew up swimming before he ventured into triathlons. Doug ended up racing triathlons for 23 years. He started in a youth series called Ironkids and progressed to adult distances when he was in high school. In college, Doug was a walk-on swimmer at Cornell University and competed in triathlons during the summer. He turned professional as a triathlete in 1998 and spent 11 seasons racing regularly in the United States and abroad. Doug became interested in working with the TriCats to helping us achieve our sporting goals and improve as athletes as well as people. Triathlon is a lifelong sport and Doug would like to share the knowledge that he learned in his days competing in the sport.



More information:

• First triathlon was in 1985 as a 9 year old and last triathlon was in 2008 as a 32 year old.

• Raced triathlon professionally from 1998-2008.

• Primarily raced the olympic distance format and mostly on the International Triathlon Union circuit.

• Lived in Tucson, on and off since November 1999.

• Favorite Tucson restaurant is El Torero.

• Favorite Tucson run is Robles Pass.

• Favorite Tucson bike road is Trails End.

• Favorite pool is Hillenbrand when it is 50 meters. 


Assistant Coach and Team Injury Prevention Specialist Dr. Cara Payne 

Dr. Cara Payne, PT, DPT is an avid triathlete, mother and wife. She originates from San Diego, but has lived in Washington, practiced physical therapy in New Zealand (on Rugby Players) and is currently developing a Triathlete training company called Forever Fit. Cara is a former NCAA cross-country runner and has raced (and either won or podiumed at) multiple triathlon and running events. Besides assisting with our run practices, Cara is an amazing physical therapist at Tygiel Physical Therapy and ensures that every TriCat is healthy and strong to compete. 



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