March 27, 2001
Villanova, Pa. -- Jay Wright, a Philadelphia area product and former Wildcat assistant coach has been named men's basketball coach, director of athletics Vince Nicastro announced today.
Wright signed a five-year contract. Terms were not disclosed.
"We are delighted to welcome Jay and his family back to Villanova," said Nicastro. "Jay earned the respect of the entire Villanova community when he served here as an assistant coach and in the years since his departure has developed into one of the most coveted young head coaches in America. He lifted Hofstra to new heights and we are confident that he is the right person to lead Villanova into the next chapter of what is a rich basketball tradition."
Wright, 39, is a Churchville, Pa., native who attended Council Rock High School. A 1983 graduate of Bucknell University, Wright began his coaching career as an assistant coach at the University of Rochester in 1984. He spent two years there and one more as an assistant coach at Drexel University before moving to the Main Line to join head coach Rollie Massimino at Villanova in 1987.
In Wright's five years at Villanova the Wildcats made three NCAA Tournament appearances and two trips to the NIT. Wright then moved with Massimino to UNLV for two seasons before accepting the head coaching position at Hofstra on April 7, 1994.
Over the course of his seven seasons Wright steadily built the Pride into a force in the America East. In the past three seasons Hofstra was 72-22 (.766) with a pair of America East titles to its credit. The Pride appeared in the postseason in each of those campaigns, including the last two NCAA Tournaments. In seven seasons Wright compiled a 122-85 (.589) mark.
Wright is married to the former Patricia Reilly, a Villanova alumna (Class of 1983). The couple has three children: sons Taylor (8), Colin (6), and a daughter, Reilly (2).