PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Villanova men’s basketball coach Jay Wright surprisingly announced his retirement on Wednesday night after his squad made a run to the Final Four a few weeks ago. Wright took over at ‘Nova in 2001 and built one of the top programs in the country.
Jay Wright will formally announce his retirement from Villanova during a press conference on Friday. Watch it on CBS3 and streaming on CBS News Philly starting at 10 a.m. Here’s how to watch on CBS News Philly.
“As soon as the news broke everyone was talking about it really, really, surprised,” graduate student Allison Manning said. “I definitely think we’re all really sad about it but really happy for him going on to retirement.”READ MORE: “School Girls,” Directed By Temple University’s Amina Robinson, Tackles Difficult Topics
Now, fans are left looking back on his many contributions to the Villanova community both on and off the basketball court.
“He has done a lot for this program, for basketball, for the Villanova community, the Radnor community, so I think it will be crazy to see him move out of that role,” graduate student Lexi Rauth said.
Jay Wright set the tone for this program, one that has become one of the top in the nation, and many call Wright an institution bigger than the game. News of his retirement sent shockwaves throughout campus and the entire Radnor community for a man often dubbed as Mr. Main Line.
Students say his leadership brought the campus together and businesses say his wins showed up in their bottom line.
“I’m on my last year, would have loved to have seen one more championship run maybe, and I really just don’t think without him we can make it,” junior Anthony Kassis said.
Wright won two national championships, made four Final Fours, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame last year, and accomplished much more during his time on the Main Line.READ MORE: 5 People Shot Near Temple University, Philadelphia Police Say
The news of his retirement stunned the sports world on social media.
Rodger Sherman of The Ringer put the moment Wright walked off the court in 2016 after the national championship perfectly. It might be the most notable moment of Wright’s career after he and the Wildcats won their first title under him.
nobody has ever been closer to the "cool guy walking away from an explosion" thing that happens in movies than Jay Wright saying "bang" and quietly walking away while his team won the national championship on a buzzer-beater pic.twitter.com/hVvaEEvdSR
— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) April 20, 2022
CBS3’s Pat Gallen was just all over the country covering Villanova’s run to the Final Four. He wrote he was “stunned” by the news.
Stunned by the news that Jay Wright is retiring.
Spent basically the last month following Nova through their Final Four run and every day Jay was willing to chat, no matter how monotonous the topic or how ridiculous my question. He'll be missed. @CBSPhilly
— Pat Gallen (@PatGallenCBS3) April 20, 2022
Before retiring, he also won Pat’s “Gallen Award.”
Sure, Jay Wright has won 2 National Championships.
Yes, he's in the Hall of Fame.
But he also won a "Gallen Award" once!
That is a cardboard trophy with my dumb face on it. pic.twitter.com/JPJDUdGR28
— Pat Gallen (@PatGallenCBS3) April 21, 2022
Wright’s former players of course reacted to the news. Kris Jenkins, who hit the game-winning shot against North Carolina in the 2016 title game joked about his former coach pulling “a Tom Brady. Allan Ray, who was a part of Wright’s first recruiting class at ‘Nova, said he’ll missing seeing him courtside.
Shoutout to Jay Wright the goat 🐐let’s see if he pull a Tom Brady 👀🤣‼️
— Kris Jenkins (@Smoove2you_) April 21, 2022
Gonna miss seeing this guy on the sidelines.
Congrats on a GREAT career at Nova. pic.twitter.com/eJopsRu4YW
— 🅰️RAY (@ARayfor3) April 21, 2022
The Eagles congratulated Wright on an incredible run as a head coach.
A legendary coach. A legendary career.
— Philadelphia Eagles (@Eagles) April 21, 2022
Of course, the coaches Wright went up against on through his 21 seasons at Villanova reacted to the news. Sean Miller at Xavier called him “one of the best to ever do it.” Former St. Joseph’s University coach Phil Martelli told CBS3 Wright is “is the living definition of what a coach is.”
— Sean Miller (@CoachMillerXU) April 21, 2022
Former @UNC_Basketball coach Roy Williams told me tonight: "I love @NovaMBB Jay Wright. Admired him a great deal. One of the true giants in our game. I do believe Jay did everything with first class and integrity. He was a great ambassador for his university and our profession.''
— Andy Katz (@TheAndyKatz) April 21, 2022
MORE NEWS: PPA Adding Patrols To Monitor Illegally Parked Cars In Bike Lanes Amid Growing Number Of Bicyclists Killed In Philly
— Duke Men’s Basketball (@DukeMBB) April 21, 2022
ESPN college basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla made a good point. Wright could make a ton of money being on TV.
— Fran Fraschilla (@franfraschilla) April 20, 2022