Hall of Famer Jay Wright to Step Down as Villanova’s Head Coach

Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright in 2019
Villanova Wildcats head coach Jay Wright in 2019. Photo by Chris Szagola/CSM/Shutterstock (10129051l)

Hall of Famer Jay Wright is leaving Villanova and bringing to an end his 21-year stint as the head coach of the university’s basketball program. The news hasn’t been made official, but multiple reports say Wright already notified the university and the players about the decision.

Wright will leave Villanova Wildcats in good hands. The Fordham Rams’ head coach Kyle Neptune is believed to be the strongest favorite to take over the program. Neptune previously spent 10 years with the Wildcats, working as a video coordinator and assistant under Wright.

Jay Wright was named Villanova’s head coach in 2001. He has since re-established the university as a dominant force in college basketball, leading the Wildcats to two national championships and four Final Four appearances. Wright compiled 520–197 record during his time there, including 244–123 in Big East Conference.

Prior to joining Villanova, Wright spent seven seasons as a head coach with Hofstra University while also working as an assistant with Drexel and UNLV, among other programs. He also served on Gregg Popovich’s staff at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where Team USA won the gold medal.

For his contributions to the game of basketball and sports success, Wright was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.