Breaking down Villanova coach Jay Wright's career by the numbers

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Breaking down Jay Wright's legendary career by the numbers originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

The bombshell announcement Wednesday that Jay Wright was stepping down as head coach at Villanova got us thinking about all the wins, all the tournament runs, all the championships, records and history he stuffed into 21 thrilling years on the Main Line.

Wright went 520-197 at Villanova (.720), won six Big East Tournaments and eight regular-season titles, won 30 games six times, reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times, got to eight Sweet 16s and four Final 4s and won two national titles.

This was one of the greatest runs in college basketball history.

Here’s a look at Wright’s career By the Numbers:

NOT ONE BUT TWO NATTY’S: Jay Wright is one of only 15 coaches in college basketball history to win multiple national titles, and only five of the others have won more than Wright — John Wooden at UCLA [10], Mike Krzyzewski at Duke [5], Adolph Rupp at Kentucky [4], Roy Williams at Kansas [3], Jim Calhoun at UConn [3] and Bobby Knight at Indiana [3].

TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD: Wright is one of only six coaches ever to win two national titles in a span of three years at any point in his career. Krzyzewski did it in 1991 and 1992, Wooden won 12 in a 14-year span from 1962 through 1975, Rupp won in 1948, 1949 and 1951, Billy Donovan back-to-back with Florida in 2006 and 2007, Ed Jucker back-to-back at Cincinnati in 1961 and 1962 and Phil Woolpert in 1955 and 1956 at San Francisco.  So Wright, Donovan and coach K are the only coaches since 1975 — a span of 48 years — to win two in a three-year span.

FOUR FINAL 4’S: Wright took Villanova to four Final 4s — 2009, 2016, 2018, 2022 — and only 12 coaches have gone to more, only 10 with the same team. That group includes Krzyzewski, Wooden, Dean Smith [North Carolina], Williams, Tom Izzo [Michigan State], Denny Crum [Louisville], Rupp, Jim Boeheim [Syracuse], Knight [Indiana], Guy Lewis [Houston], Lute Olson [Arizona 4, Iowa 1] and Rick Pitino [Louisville 3, Kentucky 3, Providence 1].

TALK ABOUT ELITE COMPANY: Of the 22 coaches who’ve been to four Final 4’s, Wright is one of only 10 who’s won two national titles. The only coaches with more Final 4’s and national titles are Krzyzewski, Wooden, Williams, Rupp and Knight. Since Wright got to Villanova in 2002, only Krzyzewski [3] and Williams [3] have won more national titles, and only Calhoun, Donovan at Florida and Bill Self at Kansas have also won two.

A REMARKABLE DECADE I: Wright averaged 25 wins per year at Villanova. But during Wright’s final 10 years on the Main Line, the Wildcats averaged 28 wins per season and were one of just three schools in the country to play .800 basketball over the past decade. Gonzaga went 316-39 [.890], Villanova was 283-67 [.809] and Kansas went 287-71 [.802]. But Gonzaga hasn’t won a national title and Kansas won one during the past decade. So Villanova is the only school in the country to win multiple national titles and play .800 basketball over the last 10 years.

A REMARKABLE DECADE II: During that same 10-year period, Villanova shared the best NCAA Tournament record in the country with Duke. Both were 22-7 (.759), highest of all Division 1 schools that reached the Tournament more than once between 2013 and 2022.

A WINNING CULTURE: Including his seven years at Hofstra, Wright averaged 22.9 wins per season and had an all-time .692 winning percentage in 28 years as a Division 1 coach. Of the 63 coaches who’ve won 500 games, Wright’s average of 22.9 wins per year is 9th-highest. The Wildcats were ranked in the top 10 at some point in each of the last nine seasons and 13 of the past 17 seasons.

CONNIE, GREASY, FRED AND JAY: With national titles in 2016 and 2018, Wright became only the fourth coach in Philadelphia major sports history to lead a team to more than one championship and the first in nearly half a century. The first was Connie Mack, who led the Philadelphia Athletics to five World Series titles: 1910, 1911, 1913, 1929 and 1930. Greasy Neale – who once played for the Phillies – led the Eagles to the 1948 and 1949 NFL Championships. And Fred Shero coached the Flyers to consecutive Stanley Cup Championships in 1974 and 1975.

WINNING WHEN IT MATTERS: Among all Division 1 coaches who were active in 2022, Wright’s career .682 NCAA tournament winning percentage was 6th-highest, behind only Krzyzewski [.764], Williams [.745], Calipari [.725], Izzo [.703] and Self [.700].

POSTSEASON SUCCESS: Villanova reached the NCAA Tournament in Wright’s last eight seasons (not counting 2020, when the Tournament was cancelled) and 15 of the last 16 seasons it was held. In his 21 years at 'Nova, Wright had as many seasons reaching the Final 4 (2009, 2016, 2018, 2022) as he had not reaching the Tournament (2002, 2003, 2004, 2012).

AND HE DID IT ALL IN THE BIG EAST: Wright won 271 games in the Big East Conference, 3rd-most in the history of one of the most competitive conferences in the country.