LOS ANGELES, CA (October 10, 2017) – Jay Wright, Villanova University Men’s Basketball Coach, will receive the John R. Wooden Award’s “Legends of Coaching” honor in 2018. Coach Wooden’s daughter Nan Wooden was proud to announce his selection at the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s annual Wooden Award Tip-Off Luncheon. The luncheon features the head coaches from the Division I men’s basketball programs in Southern California. The “Legends of Coaching” honor recognizes coaches who exemplify Coach Wooden’s high standard of coaching success and personal integrity.
The “Legends of Coaching” award was adopted by the Wooden Award Steering Committee in 1999. The honorees are selected based on character, success on the court, graduation rate of student-athletes in their basketball program, coaching philosophy, and identification with the goals of the John R. Wooden Award. Coach Wright will be recognized during the Wooden Award Weekend April 5-7, 2018, as a part of the Los Angeles Athletic Club’s celebration of the greatest players and coaches in college basketball. He will be awarded the honor during the 4th Annual ESPN College Basketball Awards on April 6, 2018.
Coach Wright has 23 years of head coaching experience, including 16 years as the head coach of the Villanova University men’s basketball team. On February 11, 2017, he recorded his 500th career victory when the Wildcats defeated Xavier. He is a five-time winner of the Big East Conference Coach of the Year honor. Wright has led Villanova to the NCAA Tournament in 12 of the last 13 seasons. Over the past four seasons, Wright has led Villanova to four consecutive Big East regular season championships, a pair of Big East Tournament titles, the 2016 NCAA Championship, 70 consecutive weeks ranked in the AP Top 25, and the most wins of any program in the country.
In 2016-17, Villanova had 11 players named to the Big East All-Academic Team and received the Team Academic Excellence award. Every player that spent four seasons with the Villanova men’s basketball program during Wright’s tenure has received a diploma. Three players have earned consensus first-team All-American honors in Wright’s tenure at Villanova and four players have been named to the Wooden Award All American Team, most recently with Josh Hart in 2017.
John R. Wooden Award
Legends of Coaching Honorees
2018 Jay Wright, Villanova
2017 Muffet McGraw, Notre Dame
2016 Tubby Smith, Texas Tech
2015 Steve Fisher, San Diego State
2014 Tara VanDerveer, Stanford
2013 Bill Self, Kansas
2012 Geno Auriemma, Connecticut
2011 Tom Izzo, Michigan State
2010 Billy Donovan, Florida
2009 Rick Barnes, Texas
2008 Pat Summitt, Tennessee
2007 Gene Keady, Purdue
2006 Jim Boeheim, Syracuse
2005 Jim Calhoun, Connecticut
2004 Mike Montgomery, Stanford
2003 Roy Williams, Kansas
2002 Denny Crum, Louisville
2001 Lute Olson, Arizona
2000 Mike Krzyzewski, Duke
1999 Dean Smith, North Carolina
About the John R. Wooden Award
Created in 1976, the John R. Wooden Award is the most prestigious individual honor in college basketball. It is bestowed upon the nation’s best basketball player at an NCAA Division I university who has proven to his or her university that he or she is making progress towards graduation and maintaining a minimum cumulative 2.0 GPA. Previous winners include Larry Bird (’79), Michael Jordan (’84), Tim Duncan (’97), and last year’s recipients, Kelsey Plum of Washington and Frank Mason III of Kansas.
Since its inception, the John R. Wooden Award has contributed nearly one million dollars to the universities’ general scholarship fund in the names of the Wooden Award All-American recipients and has sent more than 1,000 underprivileged children to week-long college basketball camps. Additionally, the John R. Wooden Award partners with the Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC) each year to host the Wooden Award Special Olympics Southern California Basketball Tournament. The day-long tournament brings together Special Olympics athletes and Wooden Award All-Americans and coaches in attendance. It is hosted at the Los Angeles Athletic Club during the John R. Wooden Award Weekend.
The Legends of Coaching Award will be presented during the 4th Annual ESPN College Basketball Awards presented by Wendy’s, which will take place on Friday, April 6, 2018. For up-to-date information on the Wooden Award, please go to www.woodenaward.com and follow the Wooden Award on Facebook at www.facebook.com/woodenaward and @WoodenAward on Twitter and Instagram.