Jay Wright has led the Villanova Wildcats as head coach, over the course of 15 seasons, to new plateaus, featuring multiple highlights. But none have resonated quite the way the final act of the 2015-16 season unfolded on a grand stage of the NCAA Tournament championship game.
With the Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels tied at 74 and 4.7 seconds left in regulation, Villanova executed a buzzer-beater for the ages, as the horn sounded giving the Wildcats a 77-74 victory.
The triumph, Villanova’s 35th of the season, lifted the Wildcats to the school’s second NCAA championship. The night of April 4, 2016 capped a remarkable run that saw Villanova upend a pair of No. 1 NCAA Tournament seeds in North Carolina and Kansas, along with a No. 2 seed Oklahoma and a No. 3 seed.
Over the last three seasons, Villanova has won more games than any program in America (97-13). It has earned three consecutive BIG EAST regular season titles for the first time in school history and is 48-6 (.889) in conference action in that span. The Wildcats have been ranked in the Top 25 of the Associated Press poll for 52 consecutive weeks entering 2016-17 and earned the program’s first ever No. 1 ranking on Feb. 8, 2016.
Under the direction of Wright, the Wildcats have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 11 of the last 12 seasons.
For the second time in his tenure at Villanova, Wright was named the Naismith National Coach of the Year in 2016. Over the last 10 years, Wright has been named BIG EAST Coach of the Year on five separate occasions.
Wright was named head coach at Villanova on March 27, 2001 after serving seven seasons as the head coach at Hofstra University (1994-2001). He is 354-157 (.693) in 15 seasons as the Wildcats’ leader and owns an overall mark of 476-242 (.663) as a college head coach.
A 1983 Bucknell University graduate and basketball alumnus, Wright is married to the former Patricia Reilly. The couple have two sons, Taylor (23) and Colin (22) and a daughter Reilly (17).