Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright, who led the Wildcats to two national championships and four Final Fours, is retiring after 21 years in that position according to multiple reports.
Wright, 60, is reportedly retiring from coaching for good and won’t pursue NBA or other college jobs. According to a report from Fox Sports’ John Fanta, Wright “had been thinking about retirement for several weeks” because of his family.
Wright has been a college basketball coach since 1984. He played basketball for Bucknell from 1979-1983. After his playing days, Wright joined the University of Rochester as an assistant coach. He would eventually climb the coaching ranks to Villanova, which is 27 miles from his hometown of Churchville, Pennsylvania.
Since taking over as Villanova’s head coach, Wright has been lauded as one of the greatest coaches in the sport. He led Villanova to National Championships in 2016 –– when he beat Roy Williams’ North Carolina team –– and 2018 –– when he took down John Beilein’s Michigan Wolverines. He most recently took Villanova to the Final Four in 2022. Wright was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021 and won a gold medal at the 2020 Olympic Games as an assistant coach.
Wright’s 520-197 record at Villanova is the best in program history. He has a 642-282 overall record, which combines his years as Villanova’s and Hofstra’s head coach. He is the 48th winningest coach in NCAA Division I men’s basketball history.
Villanova is reportedly filling Wright’s position with Fordham coach Kyle Neptune. Neptune, 37, was Wright’s assistant coach for eight years. He was on staff during both national championships. Neptune went 16–16 in his first season at Fordham.