Announced on Oct. 11, 2018, an assistant coach for the USA Basketball Men's National Team, Jay Wright assisted USA and San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich with the USA National Teams, which competed in the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China and won the gold medalist 2020 Olympic Games Team in Tokyo, Japan.
"It is a great honor to represent our country and to represent USA Basketball. It's also a privilege to work under Pop and alongside Steve (Kerr) and Lloyd (Pierce). I have great respect for all three of them. This will be the opportunity of a lifetime," said Wright.
In 20 seasons as Villanova’s head coach, Wright has guided the Wildcats to three NCAA Final Fours and a pair of NCAA National Championships (2016 and 2018). He is one of only three active NCAA Division I men’s head coaches with multiple national championships to his credit.
Wright in January 2020 was named the Associated Press men's college basketball Coach of the Decade and on March 9, 2021, was named a 2021 inductee to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Compiling a 490-190 record at Villanova for a 72.2 winning percentage in his 20 seasons as the head coach, Wright has led Villanova to eight Big East Conference championships (2006, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020 and 2021), four Big East Tournament titles (2015, 2017, 2018 and 2019) and 15 NCAA Tournament appearances. Included in those 15 NCAA Tournament appearances are three Final Fours, four Elite Eights and seven Sweet Sixteen appearances.
In his 27 years as a college head coach, he boasts of an overall record of 612-274 (.690 winning percentage) and has guided teams to NCAA or NIT post-season tournament 21 times. Villanova has reached the NCAA Tournament in 15 of the last 16 seasons in which the NCAA Tournament was held and the last eight in a row. His Wildcats have won at least one game in each of the past seven NCAA Tournaments and Wright sports a Villanova career NCAA Tournament record of 30-13 (.698) and an overall 30-15 mark.
Wright directed Villanova to the Final Four in 2009, then led Villanova to the 2016 NCAA Championship, defeating North Carolina on a memorable game-winning 3-point shot. Wright’s Wildcats followed-up on that championship two years later, winning the 2018 NCAA Championship in dominating style. Winning each of its six NCAA Tournament games by a double-digit margin, Villanova’s average margin of victory during its title run was an eye-popping 17.7 points a game, leading many to call the team's tournament run as the most dominant ever.
Villanova has recorded 233 victories over the past eight seasons - an average of 29.1 wins per season, and is the first Division I team to post 30 or more victories in four consecutive seasons (2014-18).
In 2017-18, the Wildcats amassed a school record 36 victories and secured Villanova’s third NCAA National Championship.
In 2018 Wright received the John R. Wooden Legends of Coaching Award. He is a two-time winner of the Naismith National Coach of the Year award (2006 and 2016). For the sixth time in the past 13 seasons, Wright was tabbed the Big East Conference Coach of the Year in 2018-19. He has won the award more than any coach in league history.
Wright owns a variety of USA Basketball coaching experiences and as a head coach or assistant coach has now compiled a 31-9 overall record for a 77.5 winning percentage. He led the USA to an 8-0 record and gold medal at the 2005 World University Games as head coach, and he was an assistant coach in the 2000 World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Tournament that finished 4-1 and won the silver medal. Wright coached a USA Basketball team of collegians in the 2007 Pan American Games to a fifth-place finish and a 3–2 record.
Serving as co-head coach of 2010 USA Select Team that trained with the 2010 USA World Cup Team, he returned as Popovich’s assistant coach for the 2016 USA Select Team that trained with the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team. Wright also served as Popovich's assistant coach during the 2018 USA Men’s National Team minicamp, the 2019 World Cup, and the gold medalist 2020 U.S. Olympic Team.
Wright was a three-year varsity letterman at Bucknell University and was the team's leading scorer in 1981-82, when he averaged 11.9 points per game. He was selected as the team's most valuable player for 1981-82, and then as a senior in 1982-83 he served as team co-captain and received the Malcolm A. Musser Award for Leadership.
Wright is married to the former Patricia Reilly. They have two sons, Taylor and Colin and a daughter Reilly.
Jay Wright USA Basketball Coaching Synopsis
MEDAL / FINISH
|2020 U.S. Olympic Team||Assistant Coach||5-1||.833||Gold Medal|
|2021 USA National Team||Assistant Coach||2-2||.500||N/A|
|2019 USA World Cup Team||Assistant Coach||6-2||.750||Seventh Place|
|2019 USA National Team||Assistant Coach||3-1||.750||N/A|
|2018 National Team||Assistant Coach||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2016 USA Select Team||Assistant Coach||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|2010 USA Select Team
|2007 USA Pan American Games Team
||Head Coach||3-2||.600||Fifth Place|
|2002 USA World University Games Team
||Head Coach||8-0||1.000||Gold Medal|
|2002 USA World Championship for Young Men Qualifying Tournament
||Head Coach||4-1||.800||Silver Medal|
|USA Basketball Coaching Record||
2 Gold Medals/1 Silver Medal