Jay Wright

The men’s college basketball world got some unexpected news Wednesday night, with Villanova Wildcats coach Jay Wright suddenly retiring and with reports that Fordham Rams’ coach Kyle Neptune has been picked to succeed him. Here’s some of how that played out, with Shams Charania of Stadium and The Athletic starting the ball rolling that Wright (seen above in 2017) was seriously considering retiring, and with Jeff Goodman of Stadium quickly confirming Wright was retiring and naming Neptune (a Villanova video coordinator for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, and a Wildcats’ assistant coach from 2013-2021) as Wright’s likely successor:

CBS’ Matt Norlander later had the news of Wright’s goodbye text to the program, which named Neptune as his successor:

Wright, 60, has been a NCAA men’s basketball head coach since 1994. He started by leading the Hofstra Flying Dutchmen to a 122–85 overall record from 1994 to 2001, then posted a 520–197 mark with Villanova from the 2001-02 season until now. With the Wildcats, he won national titles in both 2016 and 2018, and he led them to the Final Four four times, including this year. And it’s notable that while Wright certainly is young enough that another coaching job might be a possibility for him, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that while there’s NBA interest in Wright, he looks to be actually retiring (and would likely not consider the NBA down the road, either):

Norlander added to that:

And Wright’s retirement led to a lot of Twitter reaction:

That’s certainly a remarkable career, and one of the best in college basketball. And it will be worth watching what Wright does from here. Broadcasters including ESPN and CBS/Turner will quite likely be very interested in him, and it’s also possible he might return to the coaching world down the road (but, as Neubeck notes above, it would likely take an incredible offer to bring him back). For the moment, though, he’s moving on, and Neptune will be taking over at Villanova after just one season at Fordham (where he took the previously 2-12 Rams to a 16-16 record). And that announcement of Neptune as Wright’s successor has drawn some notable reactions in its own right:

We’ll see who Fordham tabs to replace Neptune, and we’ll see how Neptune does at Villanova.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.