Another college basketball coaching legend is stepping aside.
Villanova’s Jay Wright announced his retirement Wednesday at the age of 60 after a career that saw him lead the school outside Philadelphia to two national championships.
— Jay Wright (@VUCoachJWright) April 21, 2022
Wright held a team meeting Wednesday evening to tell his players he was retiring, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
Fordham head coach Kyle Neptune is expected to follow Wright at Villanova.
Wright was a legend over 21 seasons at Villanova. He built a 520-197 record and won 8 Big East regular-season championships and a handful of conference tournaments.
The 2021-22 Wildcats made it to the Final Four, where they lost to Kansas in a national semifinal.
Jay Wright going down as one of the best college coaches ever
— Josh Hart (@joshhart) April 21, 2022
This means the head coaches of both teams that lost in the Final Four on Saturday are gone from the college basketball coaching scene. Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski had announced his retirement before the season and saw his Blue Devils fall to North Carolina in a semifinal.
When Jay Wright was hired in 2001, Villanova had not advanced to the Sweet 16 or later since the 1987-88 season.
16 NCAA Tournament appearances
8 Sweet Sixteen appearances
5 Elite Eight appearances
4 Final Four appearances
2 National Championships pic.twitter.com/mIhikkPDPQ
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 20, 2022
Wright was asked about retirement before the game against Kansas.
“It’s got to be mind-blowing,” he said. “I would be lying if I tell you I don’t. You think about it after each year. You think about where your life is, what are you going to do. It’s difficult to think about. And honestly, if you’re [Krzyzewski] and you’ve done it for that long, and you’ve been that successful and it’s so much a part of your life, and you think about the longer you do it the more relationships you have, and those relationships are meaningful to you … that’s probably something that’s got to be really difficult to deal with.
“I think about it because there’s going to have to be a time when it’s time for the next coach of Villanova. There’s going to have to be that time. You have to pick that time.”
As for the NBA?
There’s been significant NBA interest in Jay Wright through the years, but sources tell ESPN that his intention is to retire from coaching — not only Villanova. Those who’ve talked to Wright don’t believe the NBA holds appeal to him — not now, or in future.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 20, 2022