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Coach Wright Learned from Others' Mistakes

jay-wrightSteve Marcus from New York Newsday posted a story today about Jay Wright’s coaching career with an interesting twist that may surprise you in his article, "Jay Wright Learned Some Valuable Lessons". Here are the highlights:

"Jay Wright’s ambition has never been blind. That is why he would reject, for the second time in three years, a multi-million overture to coach Kentucky. Wright has learned what jobs to covet and Kentucky — second fiddle to Louisville and Rick Pitino — is far removed from being the best college basketball job in the country."

“Wright learned not to chase only money. It started in the 1990s at UNLV, where he was an assistant to mentor Rollie Massimino, the former Villanova coach who decided to strike it rich by leaving Villanova. It was essentially career suicide for Massimino, who imploded at UNLV after it was reported that Massimino, in a private arrangement, was receiving more salary than the school had been reporting to the state.”

“There was a valuable lesson for Wright in watching his coaching idol fall. Wright, who had also assisted Massimino at Villanova, escaped fallout from Massimino’s mess at UNLV and got the job at Hofstra in 1994, where he wouldn’t make any significant money but could run his own program. Success in Hempstead was all Wright ever wanted.

Until he started winning. Then he knew exactly what he wanted: the Big East.”
“Everyone thought he was going to Fordham in the summer of 1999 after his second 20-plus win season at Hofstra. The job Wright really was holding out for was St John’s. It became a seminal moment in St. John’s basketball history as the university’s haughtiness prevented it from hiring a coach from a low Division I school in its own backyard. St. John’s went for Mike Jarvis and the disastrous impact from that mistake lingers to this day.”