On Valentines Day in 2006, Villanova and Jay Wright announced a long-term relationship. The Wildcats were ranked 4th in the nation and would later progress to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament. Wright, who was facing an expiring contract, was extended through the end of the 2012-13 season — next year.
"This agreement represents a significant commitment to the continued success of our men's basketball program," Villanova director of athletics Vince Nicastro said at the time. "We are thrilled that Jay and his family will continue to be an integral part of the Villanova community."
Wright had taken the school to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 1988 in the 2004-05 season and had the team performing at a very high level in 2005-06.
That was just the beginning of Wright's streak of seven-straight NCAA tournament invitations. The height of that run coming in the 2008-09 season, when the Wildcats strung together four of their best tournament performances since 1985, to reach the Final Four. Wright became just the fourth Villanova head coach to reach the last weekend of the NCAA tournament and the first since his mentor, Rollie Massimino, took the school to the National Title.
That achievement led the Villanova administration to quietly re-up their agreement with Wright. There was no press release in 2009, but the extension was significant in length — and that security blanket has largely been the reason why Wright hasn't seriously listened to overtures from other programs.
The actual length of Wright's contract isn't actually known, but it is lucrative and will go on for many more years.
"I’m going to be there as long as they want me there," Wright told the Associated Press. "I’m locked in for a long, long time. Let’s leave it at long term."
So while Jay Wright's critics hope to see his deal allowed to expire, the Villanova coach is equipped and empowered to weather the difficult times. He expects next season to be another challenge as well, relying on players like Ty Johnson and James Bell to reach their potential quickly to replace the early departures of Maalik Wayns and (maybe) Dominic Cheek.
The 2011-12 season will go down in the record books as one of the Wildcats' worst and the 2012-13 season could also be a struggle if player development isn't as quick as fans hope. Either way, it seems, Jay Wright has a level of job security that should allow him to survive through a lot of those struggles.