Legendary Villanova Coach Jay Wright Has Retired

Mike Krzyzewski isn’t the only legendary college basketball coach who is retiring now that the 2021-22 season has come to an end. According to multiple media reports, longtime Villanova coach Jay Wright is weighing walking away from the program he has led for decades, with the expectation being that he will call it a career after winning a pair of national championships.

While nothing has been made official, the indication among basketball reporters is that it would take quite the change of heart for Wright to return to the Wildcats for the 2022-23 season.

According to Charania and Jeff Goodman, Fordham coach and former Wright assistant Kyle Neptune is the favorite to take over.

Villanova is one of two programs Wright has led during his coaching career. After a decade of holding assistant coaching jobs — including a stint as an assistant at Villanova — Wright became the head coach at Hofstra in 1994 and led the Flying Dutchmen to a pair of NCAA Tournament appearances.

In 2001, Wright was hired by the Wildcats to replace Steve Lappas, where he has established himself as one of the best coaches of his era. For his career, Wright holds a 642-282 record as a head coach, and after years of coming close, finally won national championships in 2016 and 2018. His trophy case includes a pair of National Coach of the Year awards, an Olympic gold medal as an assistant at the 2020 Tokyo Games, and a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

While Wright’s name has been kicked around for years as one to watch for NBA vacancies, Norlander reports that the expectation is he’d leave coaching altogether and not try to make the jump to the pros.

UPDATE: Wright officially announced his retirement later on Wednesday night.