Villanova coach Jay Wright retires: Two-time national champion leaves Wildcats after 21 seasons - New Style Motorsport

In a shocking decision that will reverberate through college sports, longtime Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright, 60, has decided to retire after 21 years of leading the Wildcats, sources told CBS Sports on Wednesday. Wright, who led Villanova to a pair of national championships, called an impromptu meeting with his team to share the news of his retirement.

During that meeting, Wright shared that Fordham manager Kyle Neptune will replace him to headline the Villanova show, sources told CBS Sports. Neptune was Wright’s assistant from 2013 to 2021.

Wright, already a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, began seriously considering retirement last season, a source said. He moved closer to deciding on him in March. In recent weeks, Villanova’s power brokers had talks with Wright to see if the coach would change his mind.

Fresh off his fourth Final Four appearance, Wright is deciding to step away from the routine of college basketball. Privately, he has shared frustrations with some of the significant changes in the way the sport operates. He, too, has gone through understandable exhaustion with the grind of work, a source said.

Villanova has been one of the top programs in college basketball, rising to elite status under Wright over the past decade. The Wildcats won national championships in 2016 and 2018 and also advanced to the Final Four in 2009 and 2022. Nova has played in the NCAA Tournament in 16 of the last 17 seasons the event has been held, missing only the postseason altogether once in 2012.

Wright ends his career with a 642-282 record combining 21 seasons at Villanova with seven at Hofstra, where he went 122-85 with a 50-12 record and two NCAA tournament appearances in his last two seasons.

The two-time Naismith Coach of the Year and six-time Big East Coach of the Year finished 520-197 at Villanova as the program dominated its conference. The Wildcats have won eight Big East regular-season championships (seven in the last nine seasons) and five Big East Tournament titles while receiving a top-three berth in the NCAA Tournament nine times since 2009.

Because right now?

With Wright considering retirement for a considerable period of time, rumors of an upcoming decision began to get loose and loud early on Wednesday. Rather than allow them to take hold, Wright quickly called a team meeting before a season-ending banquet scheduled for Thursday night to make the announcement, sources told CBS Sports.

His decision to retire is not related to health, but rather a case where he is ready to take a break from training, the sources said. A combination of exhaustion and a career filled with substantial success created a scenario in which Wright has nothing to prove.

Will the NBA come calling?

He could, but Wright has no intention of coaching in the NBA. It would be really amazing to see him do it at this stage in his life, a source told CBS Sports. That source added: “He took a liking to him with the Olympics and said he could never coach those guys through 82 games.”

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