On Friday the Associated Press named Jay Wright the College Basketball Coach of the Decade. In the past 10 years, Wright has won 2 National Championships, 6 Big East Championships, 4 Big East Tournament Titles, and 6 Big 5 Championships. Individually he won 4 Big East Coach of the Year awards, and was the 2016 Naismith College Basketball Coach of the Year. And those are just a few of the many, many honors Wright has had this past decade.
The Championships clearly made Wright the obvious pick for the award, and all of the Big East titles sure help. But for Villanova fans, Wright earned this award in the one season that could have lost it for him. That’s right, Jay Wright is the coach of the decade because of the 2012 season in which the Wildcats went 13-19.
I’m not saying this because Wright won in spite of the lone losing season of his carer. It’s what he did to turn it around that turned the 20-Teens into the greatest era in Villanova Basketball history. He saw what wasn’t working, admitted his own errors (RARE in a coach) instead of blaming it on his staff or players, and then put the time and effort in to do things the right way. The result was an unreal run of success in recruiting, player development, and of course winning.
This award is well deserved, and couldn’t go to a greater man. I know in my personal interactions with Coach Wright, he’s as authentic as they get. He’s engaging, passionate, an really does love coaching at Villanova. Wildcat fans have known that since back in the early 2000’s, but now all of college basketball has recognized Wright for the outstanding coach he is. Great job coach, now let’s run it all back again in the 2020’s!