Jay Wright has been the head basketball coach at Villanova University since 2001. For those of you who may not know, residing in Philadelphia, Villanova is the oldest private Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Without a doubt, Wright is a lock for the top-5 best dressed coaches in America.
Since his takeover in 2001, coach Wright has produced a countless number of NCAA Tournament teams. Among his accomplishments at Villanova, Wright has propelled his Wildcats’ teams to great heights during his tenure with Nova. To put his success into prospective, he is only the eighth coach in the storied basketball program’s 81-year history.
From 2001-2004, the team was NIT worthy, yet that was just the tip of the iceberg. With some great recruiting, Wright’s teams achieved their ultimate goal in being selected to the NCAA Tourney for several consecutive seasons. Nova received tourney bids from 2005-2011, and were again selected in the 2013 season. Most notably, they reached the Sweet 16 four times (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009), the Elite Eight twice (2006, 2009) and the Final Four once (2009).
Jay’s biggest accomplishment as the head coach at Villanova was being named the 2006 Naismith College Coach of the Year. In addition, he has helped his players become men – some of those players are now flourishing in the NBA.
Shooting guard Randy Foye of the Denver Nuggets, who is in his ninth NBA season, has had his share of injuries, yet has managed 11.6 points per game, 3.1 assists per game and 2.3 rebounds per game in his career. When he is in the zone, Randy can fill it up with the best of them from beyond the arc. Point guard, Kyle Lowry, now playing for the Toronto Raptors in his ninth NBA season, has career stats of 12.1 points per game, 5.5 assists per game and 3.9 rebounds per game. This season with Toronto, Lowry has exploded, averaging 19.6 points, 7.8 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. His presence has helped fuel the Raptors to a 20-6 start in the early part of the 2014-15 NBA season.
Currently ranked No. 7 in the country, the 10-0 Villanova Wildcats are primed to have a magnificent season under the tutelage of Coach Wright. Jay’s teams have always played a great brand of unselfish basketball and this season is no different. The Wildcats play with a pass-first mentality which helps keep the defense at bay. Yes, Nova players will always have a green light to let it fly from 3-point land, yet unselfish play has been the cornerstone of Jay Wright’s coaching success.
*Section Photo credit to Jared Wickerham, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Howard Smith, USA Today Sports.