Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright is expected to retire after 21 seasons leading the Wildcats, according to multiple reports.
Wright, 60, took over at Villanova in 2001 after spending seven seasons as the head coach at Hofstra. He slowly built the Wildcats into one of the best programs in college basketball. Villanova reached four Final Fours under Wright and won the national championship in 2016 and 2018.
During his 28 total seasons as a head coach, Wright compiled a 642-282 record with 10 regular-season conference titles, seven conference tournament championships and two national titles. Villanova reached the Final Four this past season, falling to eventual champion Kansas.
Wright was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2021.
His departure adds to a changing landscape for college basketball, which has seen a number of Hall of Fame coaches walk away in the past two years. Mike Krzyzewski’s legendary 42-year run at Duke also came to an end in this year’s Final Four. Roy Williams, a three-time national champion at North Carolina, retired after the 2020-21 season.
Wright, the fifth-highest paid coach by total pay this past season according to the USA TODAY Sports salary database, seemed poised to continue his impressive run in the remade landscape coming off yet another Final Four. But he joins Williams (now 71) and Krzyzewski (75) in leaving the sidelines. ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that Wright is “fully at peace with the decision,” to step away seemingly still in his coaching prime.
According to multiple reports, Fordham coach Kyle Neptune has been tabbed to replace Wright. Before taking over the Rams, Neptune served as an assistant coach under Wright at Villanova for eight seasons.