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Jay Wright, 5th-Highest-Paid Coach, Ends Legendary Career

  • The two-time Coach of the Year won national titles with Villanova in 2016 and 2018.
  • Wright has coached nine current NBA players.
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Another legendary college basketball coach has called it a career, following in the footsteps of Roy Williams and Mike Krzyzewski.

On Wednesday, Jay Wright announced he is retiring after 21 seasons at the helm of Villanova.

The 60-year-old coached Hofstra from 1994 to 2001 before coming over to the Wildcats. Villanova’s remarkable 2005-06 season earned Wright his first of two Naismith Coach of the Year honors — but most of his accomplishments came late in his career.

  • Wright led Villanova to two national championships, four Final Fours, eight Big East regular-season titles, and five Big East tournament titles.
  • The Wildcats have been an NCAA men’s tournament staple, going 20-4 since 2016 — the most wins of any team in the country over that span.
  • He coached nine current NBA players, including Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and Kyle Lowry.
  • Wright was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2021.

With his $6.2 million salary, Wright was the nation’s fifth-highest-paid coach in his final season. His pay with the Wildcats increased several years ago after UCLA reportedly offered to double his wages, which were less than $4 million per season.

With Wright stepping away, Fordham head coach Kyle Neptune has been named Villanova’s next head coach.

Neptune was an assistant on Wright’s staff from 2013 to 2021 — which means he understands better than most the legacy he’s charged with maintaining.

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