Villanova head coach Jay Wright to retire after 35 years
Villanova head coach Jay Wright called it quits after weaving an impressive coaching career that has spanned 35 years.
The two-time national champion released a statement that started, “Thank you, Nova Nation!” on his Twitter.
“Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat,” Wright said on Thursday as he announced his retirement—news that surprised the nation. “Over the past 21 seasons, I have had the opportunity to live out a professional dream as the head coach at Villanova. Patty and I have been blessed to work with incredible, gifted young men who allowed us to coach them and brought us unmatched joy. We cannot overstate our gratitude to the players, coaches, and administrators who have been with us on this path. It has been an honor and a privilege to work at Villanova, especially under Father Peter and Mark Jackson.”
The 60-year-old coach continued by expressing his future plan to stay in Philadelphia.
“Now, though, it’s time for us to enter a new era of Villanova basketball,” he said. “After 35 years in coaching, I am proud and excited to hand over the reins to Villanova’s next coach. I am excited to remain a part of Villanova and look forward to working with Father Peter, Mark, and the rest of the leadership team. Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.”
This retirement news shook the nation as two other big names have also decided to retire recently. As Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic said, “In the span of 13 months, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, and Jay Wright have all retired. A total changing-of-the-guard moment in the sport of college basketball.”
Williams retired from the North Carolina Tar Heels last year after 18 seasons, and Coach K stepped down as Duke head coach following 42 seasons with the Blue Devils.
Furthermore, Wildcats athletic director Mark Jackson announced that Fordham coach and former Villanova assistant coach Kyle Neptune will be replacing Wright.
“When looking for a successor, we wanted a candidate who could navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and keep Villanova in a position of strength — now and in the future,” Jackson said. After meeting with several exceptional candidates, we found all those attributes and more in Kyle Neptune.”
"I think he's more ready to be a head coach than most young guys X's and O's-wise and I think he's got great character, great leadership skills, I think he's going to be an outstanding head coach,"
- Jay Wright
"When looking for a successor, we wanted a candidate who could navigate the changing landscape of collegiate athletics and keep Villanova in a position of strength — now and in the future,"
- Mark Jackson
"Over the past 21 seasons, I have had the opportunity to live out a professional dream as the head coach at Villanova,"
- Jay Wright
"Jay's legacy at Villanova extends well beyond the numerous awards, accolades and championships. He will be forever known to our community as Villanova's winningest coach, who did things the "Wright" way.
- Mark Jackson
Here’s our newser on the news that will reverberate around the sports world: Jay Wright retiring after 21 seasons and a Hall of Fame career at Villanova.
Jay Wright retires as Villanova coach after 21 seasons; Kyle Neptune to take over via @TheAthletic
Nine paragraphs before @ESPN gets around to crediting @TheAthletic for breaking the story. Still so painfully hard to do the right thing in Bristol when they get beat.
Reaction of tonight’s announcement, from me, @ESPNLunardi, @MedcalfByESPN and @JohnGasaway. What to make of Jay Wright’s shocking retirement and what’s next for Villanova basketball
This was the worst part of my day. Thank you for everything you did for the game, the area, and being a role model
Some reaction on the Jay Wright retirement news. “It’s a tremendous loss for college basketball,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim told ESPN. ND's Mike Brey: "He has really achieved it all and done it all with class. It’s a big loss for the college game.”
Jay Wright has officially announced his retirement. @MattNorlander on the how and why of the biggest story in sports today.
Pretty crazy he’s doing this at 60. That’s young for the general public, let alone a coach. Phil Marteli is 67 and Fran Dunphy is 73.
Jay Wright (basketball)
Jerold Taylor "Jay" Wright Jr. is a former college basketball coach. He served as the head coach of Villanova University from 2001 until 2022.wikipedia
Michael William Krzyzewski is an American former college basketball coach. He served as the head coach at Duke University from 1980 to 2022,wikipedia
Mark A. Jackson is an American former professional basketball player and coach. A point guard from St. John's University, he played for the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers,wikipedia
The Villanova Wildcats are the athletic teams of Villanova University.wikipedia