Villanova’s Jay Wright to Retire

Villanova Wildcats Jay Wright calls play against St. John’s Red Storm in Big East NCAA men’s basketball tournament game in New York
FILE PHOTO: Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright calls a play against the St. John’s Red Storm during the second half of their NCAA men’s championship basketball game at the 2013 Big East Tournament in New York, March 13, 2013. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine

Less than a month after taking Villanova to yet another Final Four, head coach Jay Wright announced that he’s retiring after 21 seasons as the school’s men’s basketball coach.

Wright was 39-years-old when he took over the Wildcats and quickly emerged as one of the best coaches in the country. Under his leadership, the school went to 16 NCAA Tournaments, four Final Fours, won eight Big East Conference titles, and two National Championships.

Apr 1, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright during the Final Four practice at Caesars Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

During his tenure, Wright compiled a record of 520 wins and 197 losses for a winning percentage of .725. That ranks 39th, and he will also rank tied for 48th in career wins with 642.

Before coming to Villanova, Wright spent seven seasons at Hofstra, taking then from a team that won 19 total games in his first two seasons to one that won 22 or more games in each of his final three years and went to two NCAA tournaments.

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Villanova will now turn the reins of its program over to Kyle Neptune, a former assistant under Wright for ten years and the head coach at Fordham this last season.

A Brooklyn native, Neptune played high school basketball at Brooklyn Friends School, where he set the school record in points. He would later play his college basketball at Lehigh before playing professionally overseas for two seasons. He began his coaching career at Niagara before being hired to be an assistant under Wright at Villanova.

With Wright staying in the Villanova athletic department as a special assistant, he will likely be involved in guiding Neptune into his new role, but we’ve certainly just seen the end of an era in college basketball.