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 2018 winner Jalen Brunson.