One of the most accomplished head coaches in college basketball is reportedly prepared to step away.
According to multiple reports, Villanova’s Jay Wright is expected to announce his retirement. A team meeting has reportedly been scheduled for Wednesday night. Wright, a two-time national championship-winning coach, has been leading the Villanova program since 2001.
The Athletic and CBS were first to report the news.
In addition to the national championships in 2016 and 2018, Wright, 60, has coached the Wildcats to eight Big East regular season titles, five Big East tournament titles, 16 NCAA tournament appearances and four Final Fours.
In 2022, the Wildcats won the Big East conference tournament and advanced all the way to the Final Four, where they lost to eventual champion Kansas.
Overall, Wright has a 520-197 record in 21 seasons at Villanova. Over that span, VU topped the 30-mark six different times.
Including his seven seasons as the head coach at Hofstra, Wright’s all-time record as a college head coach is 642-282. At Hofstra, Wright won two America East championships and reached the NCAA tournament twice.
Wright was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame as a member of its 2021 class.
With Wright stepping away from coaching, he becomes the latest Hall of Famer to retire in the last two years, joining Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and North Carolina’s Roy Williams. Krzyzewski, the NCAA men’s basketball’s all-time winningest coach, just wrapped up his final season while Williams stepped down following the conclusion of the 2020–21 season.
With Wright, Krzyzewski and Williams all retiring, Kansas’ Bill Self and Iona’s Rick Pitino are the only two active coaches in men’s college basketball with multiple national titles.
Wright’s successor already lined up?
According to multiple reports, Kyle Neptune, a longtime Wright assistant, is expected to take over as Villanova’s head coach if Wright indeed steps down.
Neptune, 37, was an assistant under Wright from 2008 to 2010 and again from 2013 to 2021. Neptune spent the 2022 season as the head coach at Fordham. It was his first head-coaching opportunity.
The Rams went 16-16 overall and 8-10 in Atlantic 10 play. Before Neptune’s arrival, Fordham reached 16 wins in a season only once in the previous 14 seasons.