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Jay Wright Doesn’t See Himself Taking Another College Basketball Job

Former Villanova coach Jay Wright stunned the world of college basketball when he announced his retirement following the conclusion of the 2021–22 season. Although he sounded eager for a break at the time, he didn’t entirely close the door on returning to the coaching ranks someday. 

However, Wright recently shut down the idea of coming back to college basketball and coaching at any school other than Villanova.

In an appearance on the College Hoops Today Podcast with Jon Rothstein, Wright emphatically answered that he would not entertain coaching another college basketball program.

“Definitely not. I’m committed to Villanova and working with Father Peter Donohue — our President — outside of basketball with the athletic department, with our capital campaign. These are new things for me that are exciting,” Wright told Rothstein. “I want to keep Villanova strong — I wouldn’t want to do that (coaching) at another university.”

That being said, Wright hasn’t shut the door on jumping up to the NBA level in the future. In an appearance on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show in late April, the recently-retired coach didn’t dismiss the idea of taking his talents to the pros.

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“Right now I definitely need a break,” Wright said. “Right now I’m looking forward to this [special assistant] position at Villanova. But honestly, down the road, I’d be lying–I don’t know what I’m going to feel like.”

Wright, 60, announced his retirement in April after 21 seasons at Villanova where he won national championships in both 2016 and 2018. He walks away from the program with four Final Four appearances and a 520–197 record. His Hall of Fame career extends past college basketball, though.

Wright served under Gregg Popovich on Team USA’s coaching staff for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that brought home the gold medal. He coached alongside Warriors coach Steve Kerr and Celtics coach Ime Udoka while in Tokyo, and he said on the Keyshawn, JWill & Max Show he believes that experience may have satisfied his desire for a taste of the NBA. 

Villanova replaced Wright with Fordham’s Kyle Neptune in April. Neptune served as Wright’s assistant at Villanova from 2013–21.

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